Modulation of hepatic cytochrome P450 during Listeria monocytogenes infection of the brain

J Pharm Sci. 2003 Sep;92(9):1860-8. doi: 10.1002/jps.10433.


Hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes can be modulated during systemic infections. Inflammatory responses in the brain have also been shown to cause a significant decrease in the levels and activities of important cytochrome P450 isoforms in the liver. We determined some of the effects of central nervous system (CNS) Listeria monocytogenes infection on hepatic cytochrome P450 systems in rats. Intracerebroventricular injection of L. monocytogenes resulted in a time-dependent modulation of CYP1A, CYP2B, and CYP3A activities in the liver. Total hepatic cytochrome P450 content was significantly lowered 48 h after administration of the bacterium, and hepatic CYP1A and CYP2B activities were significantly altered 48 and 72 h after infection, respectively, whereas CYP3A activity and protein content were depressed 72 h after the insult. Bacterial load in the brain increased dramatically over a 72-h period, but the number of bacteria cultured from liver over this time period was relatively small. Therefore, an infection largely confined to the CNS in the rat results in abnormal activity levels of certain hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes crucial in drug metabolism. If such a response also occurs in humans, this has the potential to produce serious complications with drug and endogenous substrate metabolism in patients with an infectious disease involving the CNS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / microbiology
  • Brain Diseases / enzymology*
  • Brain Diseases / metabolism
  • Brain Diseases / microbiology
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / biosynthesis*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Listeriosis / enzymology*
  • Listeriosis / metabolism
  • Listeriosis / microbiology
  • Male
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Time Factors


  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System