Induction of cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenase in mouse liver and kidney by rutaecarpine, an alkaloid of the herbal drug Evodia rutaecarpa

Life Sci. 2001 Nov 30;70(2):207-17. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(01)01390-x.


Rutaecarpine is one of the main alkaloids of an herbal remedy, Evodia rutaecarpa, which has been used for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorder and headache. Effects of rutaecarpine on hepatic and renal cytochrome P450 (CYP)-dependent monooxygenase were studied in C57BL/6J mice. Treatment of mice with rutaecarpine by gastrogavage at 50 mg/kg/day for three days resulted in 57%, 41%, 6-, and 6-fold increases of hepatic microsomal benzo(a)pyrene hydroxylation, 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylation, 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylation, and 7-methoxyresorufin O-demethylation activities, respectively. However, the treatment had no effects on hepatic oxidation activities toward benzphetamine, N-nitrosodimethylamine, nifedipine, and erythromycin. In the kidney, rutaecarpine-treatment resulted in 2-fold and 42% increases of microsomal benzo(a)pyrene hydroxylation and 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylation activities, respectively. The treatment also increased renal 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylation activity to a detectable level. Immunoblot analysis of microsomal proteins showed that rutaecarpine-treatment increased the protein levels of CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 in the liver, whereas hepatic level of CYP3A-immunoreacted protein was not affected by rutaecarpine. These CYPs were not detectable in the immunoblot analyses of control and rutaecarpine-treated mouse kidney microsomes. These results indicated that rutaecarpine was a CYP1A inducer and showed potent inductive effects on both CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 in the liver.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Alkaloids / administration & dosage
  • Alkaloids / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / biosynthesis*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / administration & dosage
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Immunoblotting
  • Indole Alkaloids
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / enzymology*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology
  • Quinazolines


  • Alkaloids
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Indole Alkaloids
  • Quinazolines
  • rutecarpine
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System