Cytochrome P450 dependent metabolism of the new designer drug 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP)

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1-(3-Trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP) is a designer drug with serotonergic properties. Previous studies with male Wistar rats (WI) had shown, that TFMPP was metabolized mainly by aromatic hydroxylation. In the current study, it was examined whether this reaction may be catalyzed by cytochrome P450 (CYP)2D6 by comparing TFMPP vs. hydroxy TFMPP ratios in urine from female Dark Agouti rats, a model of the human CYP2D6 poor metabolizer phenotype (PM), male Dark Agouti rats, an intermediate model, and WI, a model of the human CYP2D6 extensive metabolizer phenotype. Furthermore, the human hepatic CYPs involved in TFMPP hydroxylation were identified using cDNA-expressed CYPs and human liver microsomes. Finally, TFMPP plasma levels in the above mentioned rats were compared. The urine studies suggested that TFMPP hydroxylation might be catalyzed by CYP2D6 in humans. Studies using human CYPs showed that CYP1A2, CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 catalyzed TFMPP hydroxylation, with CYP2D6 being the most important enzyme accounting for about 81% of the net intrinsic clearance, calculated using the relative activity factor approach. The hydroxylation was significantly inhibited by quinidine (77%) and metabolite formation in poor metabolizer genotype human liver microsomes was significantly lower (63%) compared to pooled human liver microsomes. Analysis of the plasma samples showed that female Dark Agouti rats exhibited significantly higher TFMPP plasma levels compared to those of male Dark Agouti rats and WI. Furthermore, pretreatment of WI with the CYP2D inhibitor quinine resulted in significantly higher TFMPP plasma levels. In conclusion, the presented data give hints for possible differences in pharmacokinetics in human PM and human CYP2D6 extensive metabolizer phenotype subjects relevant for risk assessment.

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