Author(s): Cho YA, Lee W, Choi JS
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Abstract The effects of curcumin, a natural anti-cancer compound, on the bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of tamoxifen and its metabolite, 4-hydroxytamoxifen, were investigated in rats. Tamoxifen and curcumin interact with cytochrom P450 (CYP) enzymes and P-glycoprotein, and the increase in the use of health supplements may result in curcumin being taken concomitantly with tamoxifen as a combination therapy to treat or prevent cancer. A single dose of tamoxifen was administered orally (9 mg x kg(-1)) with or without curcumin (0.5, 2.5 and 10 mg x kg(-1)) and intravenously (2mg x kg(-1)) with or without curcumin (2.5 and 10 mg x kg(-1)) to rats. The effects of curcumin on P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and CYP3A4 activity were also evaluated. Curcumin inhibited CYP3A4 activity with 50\% inhibition concentration (IC50) values of 2.7 microM. In addition, curcumin significantly (P < 0.01 at 10 microM) enhanced the cellular accumulation of rhodamine-123 in MCF-7/ADR cells overexpressing P-gp in a concentration-dependent manner. This result suggested that curcumin significantly inhibited P-gp activity. Compared to the oral control group (given tamoxifen alone), the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC(0-infinity)) and the peak plasma concentration (C(max)) of tamoxifen were significantly (P < 0.05 for 2.5 mg x kg(-1); P < 0.01 for 10 mg x kg(-1)) increased by 33.1-64.0\% and 38.9-70.6\%, respectively, by curcumin. Consequently, the absolute bioavailability of tamoxifen in the presence of curcumin (2.5 and 10 mg x kg(-1)) was 27.2-33.5\%, which was significantly enhanced (P < 0.05 for 2.5 mg x kg(-1); P < 0.01 for 10 mg x kg(-1)) compared to that in the oral control group (20.4\%). Moreover, the relative bioavailability of tamoxifen was 1.12- to 1.64-fold greater than that in the control group. Furthermore, concurrent use of curcumin significantly decreased (P < 0.05 for 10 mg x kg(-1)) the metabolite-parent AUC ratio (MR), implying that curcumin may inhibit the CYP-mediated metabolism of tamoxifen to its active metabolite, 4-hydroxytamoxifen. The enhanced bioavailability of tamoxifen by curcumin may be mainly due to inhibition of the CYP3A4-mediated metabolism of tamoxifen in the small intestine and/or in the liver and to inhibition of the P-gp efflux transporter in the small intestine rather than to reduction of renal elimination of tamoxifen, suggesting that curcumin may reduce the first-pass metabolism of tamoxifen in the small intestine and/or in the liver by inhibition of P-gp or CYP3A4 subfamily.
This article was published in Pharmazie
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology