Altered cytochrome P450 activities and expression levels in the liver and intestines of the monosodium glutamate-induced mouse model of human obesity

Life Sci. 2015 Jul 15;133:15-20. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2015.04.014. Epub 2015 May 18.


Cytochromes P450 (CYPs) are enzymes present from bacteria to man involved in metabolism of endogenous and exogenous compounds incl. drugs. Our objective was to assess whether obesity leads to changes in activities and expression of CYPs in the mouse liver, small intestine and colon.

Main methods: An obese mouse model with repeated injection of monosodium glutamate (MSG) to newborns was used. Controls were treated with saline. All mice were sacrificed at 8 months. In the liver and intestines, levels of CYP mRNA and proteins were analyzed using RT-PCR and Western blotting. Activities of CYP enzymes were measured with specific substrates of human orthologous forms.

Key findings: At the end of the experiment, body weight, plasma insulin and leptin levels as well as the specific content of hepatic CYP enzymes were increased in obese mice. Among CYP enzymes, hepatic CYP2A5 activity, protein and mRNA expression increased most significantly in obese animals. Higher activities and protein levels of hepatic CYP2E1 and 3A in the obese mice were also found. No or a weak effect on CYPs 2C and 2D was observed. In the small intestine and colon, no changes of CYP enzymes were detected except for increased expression of CYP2E1 and decreased expression of CYP3A mRNAs in the colon of the obese mice.

Significance: Results of our study suggest that the specific content and activities of some liver CYP enzymes (especially CYP2A5) can be increased in obese mice. Higher activity of CYP2A5 (CYP2A6 human ortholog) could lead to altered metabolism of drug substrates of this enzyme (valproic acid, nicotine, methoxyflurane).

Keywords: Cytochromes P450; MSG-obese mice; Monosodium glutamate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / analysis
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Eating
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / enzymology*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipids / blood
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / chemically induced*
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sodium Glutamate*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Lipids
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Sodium Glutamate