Send to

Choose Destination
Ther Drug Monit. 1991 May;13(3):189-94.

Enantioselective hydroxylation of nortriptyline in human liver microsomes, intestinal homogenate, and patients treated with nortriptyline.

Author information

Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge Hospital, Sweden.


The enantioselectivity of hydroxylation of nortriptyline (NT) to E-10-hydroxynortriptyline (E-10-OH-NT) was studied in human liver microsomes, intestinal homogenate, and patients treated with NT. The rate of formation of (-)-E-10-OH-NT was higher than that of (+)-E-10-OH-NT both in the liver microsomes and in the intestinal homogenate. Quinidine, a prototype competitive inhibitor of the cytochrome P450IID6 ("debrisoquin hydroxylase"), inhibited the formation of (-)-E-10-OH-NT in a concentration-dependent manner in liver microsomes, while the formation of (+)-E-10-OH-NT was hardly affected. This indicates that P450IID6 catalyzes the hydroxylation of NT in a highly enantioselective manner to (-)-E-10-OH-NT in the liver. Another P450 isozyme besides IID6 seems to be responsible for the formation of the (+)-enantiomer in the liver. In intestinal homogenate, the formation of both enantiomers of E-10-OH-NT was inhibited to about the same extent by quinidine, the maximum inhibition being much less than in the liver. In the urine of six patients treated with NT, the (-)-enantiomer accounted for 91 +/- 2% of the unconjugated E-10-OH-NT, and for 78 +/- 6% of the glucuronide conjugates. The study shows that NT is hydroxylated in a highly enantioselective way, probably catalyzed by the polymorphic P450IID6, to (-)-E-10-OH-NT both in vitro in human liver as well as in vivo in patients treated with the drug.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center