Aim: To further explore the mechanism underlying the interaction between repaglinide and gemfibrozil, alone or in combination with itraconazole.
Methods: Repaglinide metabolism was assessed in vitro (human liver subcellular fractions, fresh human hepatocytes, and recombinant enzymes) and the resulting incubates were analyzed, by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and radioactivity counting, to identify and quantify the different metabolites therein. Chemical inhibitors, in addition to a trapping agent, were also employed to elucidate the importance of each metabolic pathway. Finally, a panel of human liver microsomes (genotyped for UGT1A1*28 allele status) was used to determine the importance of UGT1A1 in the direct glucuronidation of repaglinide.
Results: The results of the present study demonstrate that repaglinide can undergo direct glucuronidation, a pathway that can possibly contribute to the interaction with gemfibrozil. For example, [³H]-repaglinide formed glucuronide and oxidative metabolites (M2 and M4) when incubated with primary human hepatocytes. Gemfibrozil effectively inhibited (∼78%) both glucuronide and M4 formation, but had a minor effect on M2 formation. Concomitantly, the overall turnover of repaglinide was also inhibited (∼80%), and was completely abolished when gemfibrozil was co-incubated with itraconazole. These observations are in qualitative agreement with the in vivo findings. UGT1A1 plays a significant role in the glucuronidation of repaglinide. In addition, gemfibrozil and its glucuronide inhibit repaglinide glucuronidation and the inhibition by gemfibrozil glucuronide is time-dependent.
Conclusions: Inhibition of UGT enzymes, especially UGT1A1, by gemfibrozil and its glucuronide is an additional mechanism to consider when rationalizing the interaction between repaglinide and gemfibrozil.
© 2010 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology © 2010 The British Pharmacological Society.