Drug–drug interactions (DDIs) may cause serious drug toxicity and delay development of candidate drugs. Screening using human liver microsomes and hepatocytes can help predict DDIs but do not always provide the degree of certainty required for confident progression of a candidate drug. Thus a suitable in vivo test system could be of great value. Here a Cyp2c knockout (KO) mouse was investigated for studying DDIs using midazolam (MDZ) a standard human CYP3A4 substrate and troleandomycin (TAO) a potent human CYP3A4 inhibitor. Pharmacokinetics (PK) and biotransformation of MDZ were investigated following dosing to Cyp2c KO and wild type mice before and after TAO treatment.
The noteworthy differences in the metabolism of MDZ in Cyp2c KO compared to wild type mice confirms the important role that Cyp2c enzymes play in the murine metabolism of MDZ in vivo. The impact of Cyp3a inhibition produced a further increase in circulating MDZ concentrations in all individuals from both strains of mice though the impact of the elimination of the Cyp2c pathway in the KO mice on the AUC was less than perhaps expected. We have shown that TAO produces an increase in the MDZ concentration and a reduction in the 1′hydroxymidazolam/midazolam formation ratio but the expected difference in the magnitude of this effect between the wild type and the Cyp2c KO mice was not seen. The magnitude of the TAO effect was also smaller than is reported in humans. Hence further work is required before this animal model could be used to predict clinical interactions.