The metabolism of nicotine-delta 1'(5')-iminium ion, in vivo and in vitro

Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 1982 Oct-Dec;7(4):293-8. doi: 10.1007/BF03189632.


Nicotine-delta 1'(5')-iminium ion, either as the diperchlorate or the hydrochloride, is rapidly converted into cotinine by a hepatic cytoplasmic enzyme. Incubations in an atmosphere of nitrogen indicated that the oxygen incorporated into cotinine is derived from water. Following the intraperitoneal administration of nicotine-delta 1'(5')-iminium ion to guinea pigs or rats, cotinine, and nicotine-1'-N-oxide were found in the urine. The results support the idea that nicotine-delta 1'-(5')-iminium ion is an intermediate in the metabolic conversion of nicotine to cotinine.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cotinine / metabolism
  • Cricetinae
  • Cyclic N-Oxides / metabolism
  • Guinea Pigs
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nicotine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Nicotine / metabolism
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Species Specificity


  • Cyclic N-Oxides
  • nicotine 1-N-oxide
  • Nicotine
  • nicotine imine
  • Cotinine