Author(s): Shimada H, Furuno H, Hirai K, Koyama J, Ariyama J
We examined the paraquat detoxicative system in mouse livers. The survival rate of mice receiving 50 mg/kg paraquat was 41% at 7 days and significantly rose to 88, 64, 69% with pretreatment with phenytoin, phenobarbital, and rifampicin, respectively. Phenytoin induced activity in NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase, CYP3A, CYP2B, and CYP2C that was 3 to 4 times higher than that of the controls. Phenobarbital induced CYP2B and rifampicin induced CYP3A, respectively, in addition to NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase. 3-Methylcholanthrene did not induce these enzymes and did not alter the survival rate. All the mice pretreated with CoCl(2) (a CYP synthesis inhibitor) or SKF 525-A (a CYP inhibitor) were dead after 5 days, and troleandomycin (a CYP3A-specific inhibitor) also reduced the survival rate. When cell homogenates were incubated with paraquat and NADPH, paraquat decreased and its metabolic intermediate paraquat-monopyridone was formed. Troleandomycin inhibited the decrease in paraquat and increased the monopyridone. After making a subfraction of the homogenate, monopyridone was produced in the postmicrosomal 105,000g supernatant, but not in the microsomes. The pretreatment of mice with phenytoin decreased the monopyridone in the postmitochondrial fraction, but did not affect the supernatant. These results indicated that paraquat was first metabolized in the postmicrosomal supernatant into monopyridone, and that may have been subsequently hydroxylated by the microsomes. Repeated intravenous injections of alpha-tocopherol to paraquat-loaded mice significantly reduced the paraquat mortality and when these mice were pretreated with rifampicin, 100% of them survived. These studies demonstrate that postmitochondrial fractions play an important role in paraquat detoxication metabolism, and that the combination of CYP induction and alpha-tocopherol administration is highly useful for the survival of paraquat-exposed mice.