Ethanol increases cytochromes P450IIE, IIB1/2, and IIIA in cultured rat hepatocytes

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1991 Feb 1;284(2):360-5. doi: 10.1016/0003-9861(91)90308-6.


In intact rats, ethanol treatment has been associated with increases in hepatic levels of both P450IIB1/2 and P450IIE. When rat hepatocytes were cultured on an extracellular tumor matrix (Matrigel), exposure to ethanol from 48 to 96 h in culture resulted in increases in cytochromes P450IIE, IIB1/2, and IIIA. Cytochrome P450IIE was detected immunologically and enzymatically, using two activities associated with cytochrome P450IIE, p-nitrophenol hydroxylation, and acetaminophen activation to a metabolite that binds to glutathione. The content of cytochrome P450IIE in freshly isolated cells decreased when the cells were placed in culture. Exposure of the cultured hepatocytes to ethanol from 48 to 96 h after inoculation resulted in an increase in cytochrome P450IIE compared to untreated cultured cells. In addition, in culture, the amount of enzymatically active protein after ethanol treatment was equal to that in hepatocytes freshly isolated from intact animals. Ethanol treatment resulted in increases in cytochrome P450IIB1/2 compared to untreated cells, as shown immunologically and by increased benzyloxyresorufin dealkylase activity. However, phenobarbital induced cytochrome P450IIB1/2 to higher levels, compared to ethanol. Ethanol and phenobarbital treatments both increased P450IIIA, as determined immunologically and by the amount of propoxycoumarin depropylase activity that is inhibited by triacetyloleandomycin. However, the amount of P450IIIA increased after ethanol treatment was less than that increased after treatment with dexamethasone in these cells. The ethanol-mediated increases in all four forms of cytochrome P450 in culture suggest that these increases in the intact animal result from direct effects of ethanol on the liver.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B1
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Hydroxylation
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Nitrophenols / metabolism
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Phenobarbital / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Troleandomycin / pharmacology


  • Nitrophenols
  • Acetaminophen
  • Ethanol
  • Dexamethasone
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Troleandomycin
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B1
  • 4-nitrophenol
  • Phenobarbital