Trimethoprim: novel reactive intermediates and bioactivation pathways by cytochrome p450s.Chem Res Toxicol. 2008 Nov; 21(11):2181-7.CR
Trimethoprim (TMP) is a widely used antibacterial agent that is usually considered as a safe drug. TMP has, however, been implicated in rare adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in humans. Bioactivation to a reactive iminoquinone methide intermediate has been proposed as a possible cause for the toxicity of the drug. However, little is known about the cytochrome P450s (P450s) involved in this bioactivation and in the metabolism of TMP in general. In this study, we have investigated the metabolism and bioactivation of TMP by human liver microsomes (HLM) and rat liver microsomes, by recombinant human cytochrome P450s, and by the bacterial P450 BM3 mutant M11(his). In addition to non GSH-dependent metabolites, five GSH adducts were identified in the HLM incubations. Next to two major GSH adducts probably originating from the iminoquinone methide intermediate described previously, three minor GSH adducts were also identified, indicating that other types of reactive intermediates are formed by HLM, such as ortho-quinones and para-quinone methide intermediates. The major GSH adducts were produced by P450 1A2 and P450 3A4, while the minor GSH adducts were mainly formed by P450 1A2, P450 3A4, and P450 2D6. Although preliminary, these results might implicate that genetic polymorphisms in P450 enzymes could play a role in the onset of TMP-related ADRs in humans.