Cytochrome P450-dependent drug oxidation activities in liver microsomes of various animal species including rats, guinea pigs, dogs, monkeys, and humans

Arch Toxicol. 1997;71(6):401-8. doi: 10.1007/s002040050403.


Levels of cytochrome P450 (P450 or CYP) proteins immunoreactive to antibodies raised against human CYP1A2, 2A6, 2C9, 2E1, and 3A4, monkey CYP2B17, and rat CYP2D1 were determined in liver microsomes of rats, guinea pigs, dogs, monkeys, and humans. We also examined several drug oxidation activities catalyzed by liver microsomes of these animal species using eleven P450 substrates such as phenacetin, coumarin, pentoxyresorufin, phenytoin, S-mephenytoin, bufuralol, aniline, benzphetamine, ethylmorphine, erythromycin, and nifedipine; the activities were compared with the levels of individual P450 enzymes. Monkey liver P450 proteins were found to have relatively similar immunochemical properties by immunoblotting analysis to the human enzymes, which belong to the same P450 gene families. Mean catalytic activities (on basis of mg microsomal protein) of P450-dependent drug oxidations with eleven substrates were higher in liver microsomes of monkeys than of humans, except that humans showed much higher activities for aniline p-hydroxylation than those catalyzed by monkeys. However, when the catalytic activities of liver microsomes of monkeys and humans were compared on the basis of nmol of P450, both species gave relatively similar rates towards the oxidation of phenacetin, coumarin, pentoxyresorufin, phenytoin, mephenytoin, benzphetamine, ethylmorphine, erythromycin, and nifedipine, while the aniline p-hydroxylation was higher and bufuralol 1'-hydroxylation was lower in humans than monkeys. On the other hand, the immunochemical properties of P450 proteins and the activities of P450-dependent drug oxidation reactions in dogs, guinea pigs, and rats were somewhat different from those of monkeys and humans; the differences in these animal species varied with the P450 enzymes examined and the substrates used. The results presented in this study provide useful information towards species-related differences in susceptibilities of various animal species regarding actions and toxicities of drugs and xenobiotic chemicals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / metabolism
  • Aniline Compounds / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism
  • Benzphetamine / metabolism
  • Carcinogens / metabolism
  • Coumarins / metabolism
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / immunology
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Dogs
  • Erythromycin / metabolism
  • Ethanolamines / metabolism
  • Ethylmorphine / metabolism
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Mephenytoin / metabolism
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology*
  • Nifedipine / metabolism
  • Oxazines / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenacetin / metabolism
  • Phenytoin / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Species Specificity


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carcinogens
  • Coumarins
  • Ethanolamines
  • Oxazines
  • Benzphetamine
  • Phenytoin
  • Erythromycin
  • pentoxyresorufin
  • bufuralol
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • coumarin
  • Phenacetin
  • Nifedipine
  • Mephenytoin
  • Ethylmorphine
  • aniline