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Xenobiotica. 1983 Jul;13(7):391-405.

Metabolism of imipramine in vitro: synthesis and characterization of N-hydroxydesmethylimipramine.


The synthesis of N-hydroxydesmethylimipramine via the corresponding primary hydroxylamine and oxime is described. The N-oxygenated products are unstable to g.l.c. analysis without prior derivatization; the decomposition products are identified by g.l.c.-mass spectrometry. N-Hydroxydesmethylimipramine is shown to be a metabolite of imipramine and desmethylimipramine on incubation of either with fortified 9000 g liver homogenates of male New Zealand white rabbits. The metabolic product is characterized by mass spectrometry and n.m.r. Didesmethylimipramine is shown to undergo metabolic alpha-C-oxidation, to yield the carboxylic acid, 3-(10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenz[b, f]azepin-5-yl)propionic acid, but not N-oxidation. N-Hydroxydesmethylimipramine is metabolically reduced to desmethylimipramine and metabolized further to 10-hydroxydesmethylimipramine, 2-hydroxydesmethylimipramine and the carboxylic acid. The possible role of N-hydroxydesmethylimipramine and 3-(10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenz[b,f]azepin-5-yl)propionic acid in the formation of iminodibenzyl is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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