Send to

Choose Destination
Xenobiotica. 2018 Dec 14:1-31. doi: 10.1080/00498254.2018.1552819. [Epub ahead of print]

Metabolite profiling and identification of enzymes responsible for the metabolism of mitragynine, the major alkaloid of Mitragyna speciosa (kratom).

Author information

a Department of Pharmaceutics , University of Florida , Gainesville , USA.
b Department of Medicinal Chemistry , University of Florida , Gainesville , USA.


1. Mitragynine is the major indole-based alkaloid of Mitragyna speciosa (kratom). Decoctions (teas) of the plant leaves have been used traditionally for cough, diarrhoea, pain, hypertension, and for the treatment of opioid addiction. In the West, kratom has become increasingly utilized for mood elevation, pain treatment, and as a means of self-treating opioid addiction. 2. Metabolic pathways of mitragynine were identified in human liver microsomes (HLM) and S9 fractions. A total of thirteen metabolites were identified, four oxidative metabolites and a metabolite formed by demethylation at the 9-methoxy group were the major metabolites of mitragynine. 3. The cytochrome P450 enzymes involved in the metabolism of mitragynine were identified using selective chemical inhibitors of HLM and recombinant cytochrome P450. The metabolism of mitragynine was predominantly carried out through the CYP3A4 with minor contributions by CYP2D6 and CYP2C9. The formation of five oxidative metabolites (Met2, Met4, Met6 Met8 and Met11) was catalyzed by the CYP3A4. 4. In summary, mitragynine was extensively metabolized in HLM primarily to O-demethylated and monooxidative metabolites. The CYP3A4 enzyme plays a predominant role in the metabolic clearance of mitragynine and also in the formation of 7-hydroxymitragynine (Met2), a known active minor alkaloid identified in the leaf material.


7-Hydroxymitragynine; Cytochrome P450; HRMS; Human liver microsomes; Kratom; LC-MS/MS; Metabolite; Mitragynine

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center