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Xenobiotica. 2008 Jan;38(1):34-47.

Nicotine metabolism and urinary elimination in mouse: in vitro and in vivo.

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


This study aimed at elucidating the in vivo metabolism of nicotine both with and without inhibitors of nicotine metabolism. Second, the role of mouse CYP2A5 in nicotine oxidation in vitro was studied as such information is needed to assess whether the mouse is a suitable model for studying chemical inhibitors of the human CYP2A6. The oxidation of nicotine to cotinine was measured and the ability of various inhibitors to modify this reaction was determined. Nicotine and various inhibitors were co-administered to CD2F1 mice, and nicotine and urinary levels of nicotine and four metabolites were determined. In mouse liver microsomes anti-CYP2A5 antibody and known chemical inhibitors of the CYP2A5 enzyme blocked cotinine formation by 85-100%, depending on the pre-treatment of the mice. The amount of trans-3-hydroxycotine was five times higher than cotinine N-oxide, and ten times higher than nicotine N-1-oxide and cotinine. Methoxsalen, an irreversible inhibitor of CYP2A5, significantly reduced the metabolic elimination of nicotine in vivo, but the reversible inhibitors had no effect. It is concluded that the metabolism of nicotine in mouse is very similar to that in man and, therefore, that the mouse is a suitable model for testing novel chemical inhibitors of human CYP2A6.

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