Reduced (+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("Ecstasy") metabolism with cytochrome P450 2D6 inhibitors and pharmacogenetic variants in vitro
by
Ramamoorthy Y, Yu A, Suh N, Haining RL, Tyndale RF, Sellers EM.
Department of Pharmacology,
University of Toronto, Ont.,
M5S 1A8, Toronto, Canada Biochem Pharmacol 2002 Jun 15;63(12):2111-9


ABSTRACT

"Ecstasy" [(+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA] is a CNS stimulant, whose use is increasing despite evidence of long-term neurotoxicity. In vitro, the majority of MDMA is demethylenated to (+/-)-3,4-dihydroxymethamphetamine (DHMA) by the polymorphic cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6). We investigated the demethylenation of MDMA and dextromethorphan (DEX), as a comparison drug, in reconstituted microsomes expressing the variant CYP2D6 alleles (*)2, (*)10, and (*)17, all of which have been linked to decreased enzyme activity. With MDMA, intrinsic clearances (V(max)/K(m)) in CYP2D6.2, CYP2D6.17, and CYP2D6.10 were reduced 15-, 13-, and 135-fold, respectively, compared with wild-type CYP2D6.1. With DEX, intrinsic clearances were reduced by 37-, 51-, and 164-fold, respectively. It was evident that CYP2D6.17 displayed substrate-specific changes in drug affinity (K(m)). Compounds potentially used with MDMA [fluoxetine, paroxetine, (-)-cocaine] demonstrated significant inhibition of MDMA metabolism in both human liver and CYP2D6.1-expressing microsomes. These data demonstrate that individuals possessing the CYP2D6(*)2, (*)17, and, particularly, (*)10 alleles may show significantly reduced MDMA metabolism. These individuals, and those taking CYP2D6 inhibitors, may demonstrate altered acute and/or long-term MDMA-related toxicity.

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