Carboxyl nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are efficiently glucuronidated by microsomes of the human gastrointestinal tract

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Nov 18;1675(1-3):120-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2004.08.013.


Limited studies have been carried out on the biotransformation of carboxyl nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the liver. However, the role of the intestine in NSAID metabolism has not been investigated. In this report, the contribution of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract from five donors to the glucuronidation of the NSAIDs, RS-ketoprofen, S-naproxen, RS- and S-etodolac, was investigated. UGT activity and, for some donors, mRNA levels were evaluated. All NSAIDs were glucuronidated throughout the GI tract; however, glucuronidation was low in stomach and duodenum as compared to the remainder of the intestine. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that the UGT1A isoforms, UGT1A3, 1A8, and 1A10, and UGT2B7 were expressed in the GI tract. Human recombinant UGT1A3, 1A9, 1A10 and 2B7 were actively involved in the glucuronidation of all NSAIDs while UGT1A7 and the intestine-specific UGT1A8 had no glucuronidating activity towards those compounds. Despite interindividual variations in both the levels of mRNA and the distribution of activity through the intestine, UGTs in the GI tract may contribute significantly to the first pass metabolism of orally administered NSAIDs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Etodolac / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / physiology*
  • Glucuronides / metabolism*
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Ketoprofen / metabolism
  • Microsomes / metabolism*
  • Naproxen / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Glucuronides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Etodolac
  • Naproxen
  • Ketoprofen
  • Glucuronosyltransferase