Aims: In men, the inflammatory response to intravenous endotoxin depresses apparent oral clearances of antipyrine, hexobarbitone, and theophylline. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there might be gender differences in the regulation of hepatic cytochromes P450.
Methods: Experiments were carried out in seven healthy women volunteers (ages 19-51, median 22 years). Each woman received a cocktail of the three drugs on two occasions, once after a saline injection and again after endotoxin.
Results: Endotoxin injections, but not saline, caused the expected physiologic responses of inflammation including fever and increases in circulating tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, and C-reactive protein. When compared with the saline control studies, endotoxin significantly decreased clearances of all probes: antipyrine, 31% (95%CI 21%-41%); hexobarbitone, 20% (95%CI 10-31%); and theophylline, 20% (95%CI 10%-30%). The decreases were comparable with those found in the men previously studied (35%, 27%, and 22%, respectively).
Conclusions: These data show that endotoxin-induced inflammation decreases hepatic cytochrome P450-mediated metabolism of selected probe drugs in women as it does in men.