Studies on cytochrome P-450-mediated bioactivation of diclofenac in rats and in human hepatocytes: identification of glutathione conjugated metabolites.Drug Metab Dispos. 1999 Mar; 27(3):365-72.DM
The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac causes a rare but potentially fatal hepatotoxicity that may be associated with the formation of reactive metabolites. In this study, three glutathione (GSH) adducts, namely 5-hydroxy-4-(glutathion-S-yl)diclofenac (M1), 4'-hydroxy-3'-(glutathion-S-yl)diclofenac (M2), and 5-hydroxy-6-(glutathion-S-yl)diclofenac (M3), were identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of bile from Sprague-Dawley rats injected i.p. with a single dose of diclofenac (200 mg/kg). These adducts presumably were formed via hepatic cytochrome P-450 (CYP)-catalyzed oxidation of diclofenac to reactive benzoquinone imines that were trapped by GSH conjugation. In support of this hypothesis, M1, M2, and M3 were generated from diclofenac in incubations with rat liver microsomes in the presence of NADPH and GSH. Increases in adduct formation were observed when incubations were performed with liver microsomes from phenobarbital- or dexamethasone-treated rats. Adduct formation was inhibited by polyclonal antibodies against CYP2B, CYP2C, and CYP3A (40-50% inhibition at 5 mg of IgG/nmol of CYP) but not by an antibody against CYP1A. Maximal inhibition was obtained when the three inhibitory antibodies were used in a cocktail fashion (70-80% inhibition at 2.5 mg of each IgG/nmol of CYP). These data suggest that diclofenac undergoes biotransformation to reactive metabolites in rats and that CYP isoforms of the 2B, 2C, and 3A subfamilies are involved in this bioactivation process. With respect to CYP2C isoforms, rat hepatic CYP2C7 and CYP2C11 were implicated as mediators of the bioactivation based on immunoinhibition studies using antibodies specific to CYP2C7 and CYP2C11. Screening for GSH adducts also was carried out in human hepatocyte cultures containing diclofenac, and M1, M2, and M3 again were detected. It is possible, therefore, that reactive benzoquinone imines may be formed in vivo in humans and contribute to diclofenac-mediated hepatic injury.