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Xenobiotica. 2007 Dec;37(12):1367-77.

Predictive value of animal models for human cytochrome P450 (CYP)-mediated metabolism: a comparative study in vitro.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.


One major challenge in drug development is defining of the optimal animal species to serve as a model of metabolism in man. The study compared the hepatic drug metabolism characteristics of humans and six widely used experimental animal species. Classical in vitro model enzyme assays with known human cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme selectivity were employed and optimized to target human hepatic CYP forms. The profile of CYP activities best resembling the human was seen in mouse followed by monkey, minipig, and dog liver microsomes, with rats displaying the most divergent. The widest interindividual variability was found in CYP3A-mediated midazolam -hydroxylase, and omeprazole sulphoxidase activities in human and monkey liver microsomes. These data demonstrate that if hepatic xenobiotic-metabolizing characteristics were to be the sole reason for the selection of animal species for toxicity studies, then the rat might not be the most appropriate model to mimic human CYP activity patterns.

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