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Protein expression of the hepatic CYP2E1 has been reported to be increased in diabetic rats. This enzyme is the primary metabolizer of chlorzoxazone (CZX) to 6-hydroxychlorzoxazone (OH-CZX). Although patients with liver cirrhosis have a higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus, there have been no reported studies on the protein expression of CYP2E1 in rats induced to have liver cirrhosis and diabetes mellitus by injection of N-dimethylnitrosamine followed by streptozotocin [liver cirrhosis with diabetes mellitus (LCD) rats]. Thus, in the present study, the pharmacokinetics of CZX and OH-CZX were evaluated in LCD rats. Compared with control rats, LCD rats had significantly decreased (by 62%) total liver protein and significantly increased (by 124%) protein expression of CYP2E1, but the intrinsic clearance (Cl(int); formation of OH-CZX per milligram protein) was comparable in both groups of rats. As a result, the relative Cl(int) was also comparable for the two groups. Thus, OH-CZX formation in LCD and control rats was expected to be similar. As expected, after i.v. (20 mg/kg) and p.o. (50 mg/kg) administration of CZX, the area under the curve (AUC) of OH-CZX was comparable in control and LCD rats (i.v., 571 +/- 85.8 and 578 +/- 413 microg x min/ml, respectively; p.o., 1540 +/- 338 and 2170 +/- 1070 microg x min/ml, respectively). In LCD rats, the AUC(OH-CZX)/AUC(CZX) ratio was similar to the value in control rats after i.v. and p.o. administration. These results indicate that OH-CZX can be used as a chemical probe to assess the activity of CYP2E1 in LCD rats.


Choong Y Ahn, Soo K Bae, Young S Jung, Inchul Lee, Young C Kim, Myung G Lee, Wan G Shin. Pharmacokinetic parameters of chlorzoxazone and its main metabolite, 6-hydroxychlorzoxazone, after intravenous and oral administration of chlorzoxazone to liver cirrhotic rats with diabetes mellitus. Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals. 2008 Jul;36(7):1233-41

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PMID: 18378564

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