A mechanistic study on altered pharmacokinetics of irinotecan by St. John's wort

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1: Curr Drug Metab. 2007 Feb;8(2):157-71.Links A mechanistic study on altered pharmacokinetics of irinotecan by St. John's wort. Hu ZP, Yang XX, Chen X, Cao J, Chan E, Duan W, Huang M, Yu XQ, Wen JY, Zhou SF. Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, Science Drive 4, 117543, Singapore. Irinotecan (CPT-11) is an important anticancer drug in management of advanced colon cancer. A marked protective effect on CPT-11-induced blood and gastrointestinal toxicity is obtained by combination of St. John's wort (SJW) in recent clinical and rat studies. However, the mechanism is unclear. This study aimed to explore the effects of SJW on the pharmacokinetics of CPT-11 and its major metabolites (SN-38 and SN-38 glucuronide) in rats and the underlying mechanisms using several in vitro models. Short-term (3 days) and long-term (14 days) pretreatment with SJW were conducted in rats to examine the effects of co-administered SJW on the plasma pharmacokinetics of CPT-11, SN-38 and SN-38 glucuronide. Rat liver microsomes and a rat hepatoma cell line, H4-II-E cells, were utilized to study the effects of aqueous and ethanolic extracts (AE and EE) and major active components (hyperforin, hypericin and quercetin) of SJW on CPT-11 and SN-38 metabolism and intracellular accumulation. Co-administered SJW for consecutive 14 days significantly decreased the initial plasma concentration (C0) of CPT-11, the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC(0-10hr)) and maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) of SN-38. The ethanolic extracts (EE) of SJW at 5 microg/ml significantly decreased SN-38 glucuronidation by 45% (P