Species differences in metabolism of ketotifen in rat, rabbit and man: demonstration of similar pathways in vivo and in cultured hepatocytes

Life Sci. 1987 Mar 2;40(9):883-90. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(87)90037-3.


In vitro drug metabolism by cultured rat, rabbit and human adult hepatocytes has been studied, using ketotifen (ZADITEN) as a model substrate because it is biotransformed in vivo by various metabolic pathways in man and animals. The major in vivo pathways were demonstrated in vitro, namely oxidation in rat hepatocytes, oxidation, glucuronidation and sulfation in rabbit hepatocytes, reduction and glucuronidation in human hepatocytes. Human hepatocytes were the most stable in culture, displaying ketotifen biotransformation for at least one week. These results clearly demonstrated that cultured hepatocytes retain their in vivo specific drug metabolizing activities, including inter-species polymorphism, for a few days. Therefore, pure hepatocyte cultures represent a useful system suitable for drug metabolism studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Biotransformation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ketotifen / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Species Specificity


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Ketotifen