Friday, November 6, 2009

Enzyme induction…done pharmacodynamically

By Ray Nims

Pharmacodynamics is the study of a specific effect of a drug as related to drug concentration at the putative active-site for that effect. Pharmacodynamics is sometimes used to model quantitatively the effect of a drug over time as drug concentration at the active-site rises and falls. Another type of pharmacodynamic study entails exposing the animal or in vitro system to graded doses of a drug and monitoring the effect associated with each active-site concentration. From the latter type of study, one is able to estimate both potency for the effect (given in terms of the active-site drug concentration at the half-maximal effect for that drug, or EC50) and its efficacy (given in terms of percentage of maximal response compared to other drugs causing the same effect through the same mechanism). In receptor theory, EC50 is considered to reflect the affinity of the drug for a receptor, while efficacy is a measure of the bound drug’s ability to cause the specific response.

The induction of drug-metabolizing enzymes, such as the cytochromes P450, may be considered to represent an effect of a drug or xenobiotic. It is common for investigators to measure such induction at one or a few dose levels and to compare the resulting enzyme induction with that of a prototype inducer. These comparisons are sometimes described in terms of the test xenobiotic causing “strong” (“potent”) or “weak” induction in comparison with the prototype inducer. As already pointed out quite elegantly by D. A. Smith and coworkers (Letter to the Editor: The Time to Move Cytochrome P450 Induction into Mainstream Pharmacology is Long Overdue. Drug Metab. Dispos. 35:697-698, 2007;, such statements are both misleading and inaccurate. As with any drug effect, enzyme induction must be described in terms of both potency and efficacy. It is possible for an inducer to be very potent but to display little efficacy. In fact, a xenobiotic having high potency and little or no induction efficacy might represent a competitive inhibitor for this effect. In contrast, there may be inducers which are very effective, but not very potent.

It is possible for efficacy and potency for enzyme induction to be estimated on the basis of studies using intact animals, provided that certain assumptions are made (e.g., that total plasma drug concentration is a suitable proxy for drug concentration at the induction active site, which cannot be sampled directly). An example of such a study is that of R.W. Nims and coworkers (Comparative Pharmacodynamics of Hepatic Cytochrome P450 2B Induction by 5,5-Diphenyl- and 5,5-Diethyl-substituted Barbiturates and Hydantoins in the Male F344/NCr Rat. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Therap. 270: 348-355, 1994; A more straightforward approach is offered through in vitro enzyme induction studies, in which enzyme induction can be related to drug concentration in the culture medium (e.g., Kocarek and coworkers: Differentiated Induction of Cytochrome P450b/e and P450p mRNAs by Dose of Phenobarbital in Primary Cultures of Adult Rat Hepatocytes. Mol. Pharmacol. 38:440-444, 1990;

Measurement of the induction of the cytochromes P450 and other drug-metabolizing enzymes following drug treatment in animals and humans is an important aspect of drug characterization. The studies should be performed and reported in a manner consistent with other drug effects, that is, in a manner consistent with the principles of pharmacology.

1 comment:

  1. Enzyme induction is a process where production of an enzyme is increased in response to changes in the environment that surrounds an individual cell.In enzyme induction, a cell is exposed to a molecule that promotes the production of enzymes by the cell.This blog have great explanation how with any drug effect,enzyme induction described in terms of both potency and efficacy.Thanx for sharing such valuable informationResearch Reports