On the enzyme-inducing action of calcium antagonists

Arch Toxicol. 1993;67(4):294-6. doi: 10.1007/BF01974350.


The effects of three calcium antagonists, nifedipine (NF), verapamil (V) and diltiazem (DL), on rat liver monooxygenases were studied. The drugs were administered in oral doses of 50, 40 and 30 mg/kg daily for 3 weeks in male Wistar rats. NF and V shortened the hexobarbital (HB) sleeping time and increased benzphetamin-N-demethylase (BND), ethylmorphine-N-demethylase (EMND), aniline hydroxylase (AH), ethoxycoumarine-O-deethylase (ECOD), ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and NADPH-cytochrome c reductase activities and the content of cytochrome P-450 and microsomal heme, but did not change the content of cytochrome b5. The data suggest that these calcium antagonists exert an enzyme-inducing effect on the hepatic monooxygenases. DL significantly increased only the EROD and NADPH-cytochrome c reductase activities and shortened HB sleeping time to a lesser extent, suggesting a weaker enzyme-inducing effect as compared to NF and V. The three drugs increased the delta-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) synthetase activity and decreased heme oxygenase (HO) activity. The increased cytochrome P-450 content is probably due to the increased synthesis and the decreased breakdown of this hemoprotein.

MeSH terms

  • 5-Aminolevulinate Synthetase / biosynthesis
  • Animals
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / biosynthesis*
  • Diltiazem / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Induction / drug effects
  • Male
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects*
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology
  • Nifedipine / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Verapamil / pharmacology


  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Verapamil
  • 5-Aminolevulinate Synthetase
  • Diltiazem
  • Nifedipine