Radix Polygoni Multiflori Praeparata and Dioscorea Bulbifera Rhizome Decoctions Display Combined Effects Detected by a Three-Probe Drug Cocktail with Substrates of Rat Hepatic Cytochrome P450 Enzymes


Objectives: Radix Polygoni Multiflori Praeparata (RPMP) and Dioscorea Bulbifera Rhizomes (DBR) are used in Chinese herbal medicine and have been frequently reported for adverse reactions on liver. In this research, we aimed to evaluate in vivo effects of RPMP and DBR on rat cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYP1A2, CYP2E1 and CYP3A2) with their respective substrates as probes. Methods: Rats were orally administered RPMP, DBR and RPMP/DBR combination at 12, 10 and (12 + 10) g/kg, respectively, or saline as a control, once daily for 7 days. Thereafter, a cocktail containing 10 mg/kg caffeine, 20 mg/kg chlorzoxazone and 10 mg/kg dapsone was tail vein injected to rats. At defined time points, plasma drug concentrations were simultaneously evaluated by HPLC. Pharmacokinetic parameters simulated by DAS software were used to assess RPMP and/or DBR effects on cytochrome P450 enzymes activity. ANOVA and Dunnett’s test were used for data analysis. Results: Caffeine metabolism was enhanced in RPMP animals and reduced after pretreatment with DBR, but no effect was observed in RPMP/DBR combination group. Chlorzoxazone and dapsone metabolism was enhanced in both RPMP and DBR groups and consequently in combination group. The data suggested that RPMP independently induces rat CYP1A2, CYP2E1 and CYP3A2 activity, while DBR independently inhibits activity of rat CYP1A2 and induces that of CYP2E1 and CYP3A2. RPMP/DBR combination showed no significant benefit compared with the two drugs alone and even showed a neutralized effect in CYP1A2 activity. Conclusions: Caution is needed when RPMP and/or DBR are co-administered with drugs metabolized by human CYP1A2, CYP2E1 and CYP3A4.

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Jiang, L. , Shan, P. , Yu, H. , Tao, J. , Gong, C. and Shen, G. (2014) Radix Polygoni Multiflori Praeparata and Dioscorea Bulbifera Rhizome Decoctions Display Combined Effects Detected by a Three-Probe Drug Cocktail with Substrates of Rat Hepatic Cytochrome P450 Enzymes. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 5, 736-746. doi: 10.4236/pp.2014.57083.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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