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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1991 Jan;49(1):44-8.

Caffeine as a metabolic probe: exploration of the enzyme-inducing effect of cigarette smoking.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


It has been realized recently that the primary metabolism of caffeine in humans is catalyzed by P-450IA2 and that the rate of caffeine metabolism can be estimated from a metabolic ratio in a single urine sample. A population of 178 students including 19 smokers were subjected to this caffeine test to establish their P-450IA2 index. Both stated numbers of cigarettes smoked per day and urinary cotinine levels as a confirmatory measure correlated significantly with enzyme activity showing dose-effect relationships (r = 0.62 and 0.89, respectively). Nevertheless, more nonsmokers than smokers had the highest enzyme indexes, suggesting that dietary elements or other factors may determine P-450IA2 activities in populations. Because P-450IA2 is a monooxygenase that may be confined to the liver, caffeine reveals directly the Ah-receptor-dependent enzyme induction only in the liver, but it may also be a signal of induction elsewhere.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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