Concordant up-regulation of cytochrome P450 Cyp3a11, testosterone oxidation and androgen receptor expression in mouse brain after xenobiotic treatment

Ralf Peter Meyer, Marcel Gehlhaus, Ricarda Schwab, Carolin Burck, Rolf Knoth, Christoph Eugen Hagemeyer

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Inactivation of testosterone by specific hydroxylations is a main function of cytochrome P450 (P450, CYP) in the brain. Recent data imply that induction of brain P450s by neuroactive drugs alters steroid hormone levels and endocrine signalling, giving rise to endocrine disorders. In this study, we investigated this drug-hormone crosstalk in mouse brain. Phenytoin led to a significant increase of 2a-, 2?-, 6?-, 16a- and 16?- hydroxytestosterones, while 6a- and 15a-hydroxytestosterones showed no significant alteration of their metabolism compared with untreated controls. Inhibition of testosterone hydroxylation using the chemical inhibitors orphenadrine, chloramphenicol, ketoconazole and nifedipine as well as antibodies against CYP3A- and 2B-isoforms pointed to major role of Cyp3a11 and an only minor function of Cyp2b9/10 in mouse brain. Cyp3a11 revealed to be the major isoform affected by phenytoin. There was considerable overlap of Cyp3a11 and AR expression in neuronal structures of the limbic system, namely the hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus and thalamus. Phenytoin treatment led to an increase of both, Cyp3a11 and AR expression in the limbic system. Additionally, the coherence between CYP3A and AR expression was analysed in PC-12 cells. Inhibition of phenytoin-induced endogenous CYP3A2 and AR by ketoconazole led a reduction of their expression to basal levels. We conclude that Cyp3a11 plays a crucial role in directing drug action to hormonal response within the limbic system of mouse brain in a so-called drug-hormone crosstalk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670 - 681
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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