Despite the very small amounts of cytochrome P450 (P450, CYP) enzymes expressed in different areas and cell populations of the brain as compared with the liver, there is significant evidence for their specific involvement in brain development, function and plasticity. Nevertheless, the current discussion about occurrence and importance of cerebral cytochrome P450s is determined by inconsistent interpretations of their function in general and with respect to single isoforms. Continuing a series of publications about brain P450 isoforms, we now present evidence for the constitutive expression of CYP2B1 and CYP2B2 mRNAs in rat brain. Immunocytochemical and non-radioactive in situ hybridization studies revealed the same expression pattern throughout the brain predominantly in neuronal populations, but to some extent in astrocytes of corpus callosum and olfactory bulb. The well known testosterone-metabolizing capacity and the presence of CYP2B isoforms shown in steroid hormone-sensitive areas and neurones (e.g. hippocampus) clarify the significance of isoforms like CYP2B1 and CYP2B2 for impairment of steroid hormone actions by P450 inducing environmental substances. We argue that cerebral P450 isoforms which are induced by xenobiotics and are able to metabolize these as well as endogenous substrates help us to understand fundamental aspects of brain s functioning.
Hagemeyer, C. E., Knoth, R., Volk, B., Rosenbrock, H., & Ditter, M. (2001). Expression and localization of the CYP2B subfamily predominantly in neurones of rat brain. Journal of Neurochemistry, 76(2), 332 - 340. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1471-4159.2001.00011.x