Bupropion is indicated to promote smoking cessation. Animal studies suggest that bupropion’s major metabolite hydroxybupropion can mediate bupropion’s pharmacologic activity. We measured plasma bupropion and metabolite levels in a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized smoking cessation trial. Among the treatment adherent individuals, higher hydroxybupropion concentrations (per µg/mL) resulted in better smoking cessation outcomes (Week 3, 7 and 26 OR=2.82, 2.96 and 2.37, P=0.005–0.040), this was not observed with bupropion levels (OR=1.00–1.03, P=0.59–0.90). Genetic variation in CYP2B6, the enzyme that metabolizes bupropion to hydroxybupropion, was identified as a significant source of variability in hydroxybupropion formation. Our data indicate that hydroxybupropion contributes to the pharmacologic effects of bupropion for smoking cessation, and that variability in response to bupropion treatment is related to variability in CYP2B6-mediated hydroxybupropion formation. These findings suggest dosing bupropion to achieve a hydroxybupropion level of 0.7 µg/ml or increasing bupropion dose for CYP2B6 slow metabolizers, could improve bupropion’s cessation outcomes.
Genetic variations in the CYP2A6 nicotine metabolic gene and the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 (CHRNA5-A3-B4) nicotinic gene cluster have been independently associated with lung cancer. With genotype data from ever-smokers of European ancestry (417 lung cancer patients and 443 control subjects), we investigated the relative and combined associations of polymorphisms in these two genes with smoking behavior and lung cancer risk. Kruskal–Wallis tests were used to compare smoking variables among the different genotype groups, and odds ratios (ORs) for cancer risk were estimated using logistic regression analysis. All statistical tests were two-sided. Cigarette consumption (P < .001) and nicotine dependence (P = .036) were the highest in the combined CYP2A6 normal metabolizers and CHRNA5-A3-B4 AA (tag single-nucleotide polymorphism rs1051730 G>A) risk group. The combined risk group also exhibited the greatest lung cancer risk (OR = 2.03; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.21 to 3.40), which was even higher among those who smoked 20 or fewer cigarettes per day (OR = 3.03; 95% CI = 1.38 to 6.66). Variation in CYP2A6 and CHRNA5-A3-B4 was independently and additively associated with increased cigarette consumption, nicotine dependence, and lung cancer risk. CYP2A6 and CHRNA5-A3-B4 appear to be more strongly associated with smoking behaviors and lung cancer risk, respectively.
Nicotine-dependence pharmacogenetics research is an emerging field, and a number of studies have begun to characterize the clinical relevance and predictive power of genetic variation in drug-metabolizing enzymes and drug target genes for response to medication. The present paper focuses on evidence for the role of nicotine-metabolizing enzymes in smoking behavior and response to treatment. Nicotine metabolism is mediated primarily by cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6). Genetic variation in the CYP2A6 gene has been linked with several smoking behavior phenotypes. Individuals who carry null or reduced activity alleles for CYP2A6 smoke fewer cigarettes per day, are less dependent on nicotine, and may have an easier time quitting smoking. A phenotypic measure of CYP2A6 enzyme activity, defined as the ratio of the nicotine metabolites 3′hydroxycotinine/cotinine, also predicts successful quitting with the transdermal nicotine patch, and counseling alone. Faster metabolizers of nicotine respond more poorly to these treatments; however, they may be excellent candidates for non-nicotine therapies, such as bupropion. Inherited variation in the CYP2B6 enzyme is also associated with response to bupropion treatment and counseling alone for smoking cessation. Inhibition of the CYP2A6 enzyme to slow nicotine metabolism is a promising approach to increase nicotine availability and potentially reduce harm from tobacco smoking.
tobacco; nicotine; addiction; genetics; pharmacogenetics
CYP2A6; inter-individual variation; pharmacokinetics; genetic polymorphisms; drug metabolism; drug efficacy
CYP2A6 is the main nicotine metabolizing enzyme in humans. We investigated the relationships between CYP2A6 genotype, baseline plasma 3HC/COT (a phenotypic marker of CYP2A6 activity), and smoking behaviors in African-American light smokers. Cigarette consumption, age of initiation, and dependence scores did not differ between 3HC/COT quartiles or CYP2A6 genotype groups. Slow metabolizers (both genetic and phenotypic) had significantly higher plasma nicotine levels suggesting cigarette consumption was not reduced to adjust for slower rates of nicotine metabolism. Individuals in the slowest 3HC/COT quartile had higher quit rates with both placebo and nicotine gum treatments (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.08-3.16, p = 0.03). Similarly, the slowest CYP2A6 genotype group had higher quit rates, although this did not reach significance (OR 1.61, 95% CI 0.95-2.72, p = 0.08). 3HC/COT ratio, and possibly CYP2A6 genotype, may be useful in the future for personalizing the choice of smoking cessation treatment for African-American light smokers.
Cytochrome P450 2A6; CYP2A6; nicotine; cotinine; trans-3′-hydroxycotinine; African-Americans; smoking; light smokers
Nicotine metabolism and genetic variation have an impact on nicotine addiction and smoking abstinence, but further research is required. The nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR) is a robust biomarker of nicotine metabolism used to categorize slow and normal nicotine metabolizers (lower 25th quartile cutoff). In two randomized clinical trials of smoking abstinence treatments, we conducted NMR-stratified analyses on smoking abstinence across 13 regions coding for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and proteins involved in the dopamine reward system. Gene × NMR interaction P-values were adjusted for multiple correlated tests, and we used a Bonferroni-corrected α-level of 0.004 to determine system-wide significance. Three SNPs in DRD1 (rs11746641, rs2168631, rs11749035) had significant interactions (0.001 ≤ adjusted P-values ≤ 0.004), with increased odds of abstinence within slow metabolizers (ORs=3.1–3.5, 95% CI 1.7–6.7). Our findings support the role of DRD1 in nicotine dependence, and identify genetic and nicotine metabolism profiles that may interact to impact nicotine dependence.
Genetic association studies; heterogeneity; smoking abstinence; nicotine metabolism; nicotine metabolite ratio; DRD1
The nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR or 3-hydroxycotinine/cotinine) has been used to phenotype CYP2A6-mediated nicotine metabolism. Our objectives were to analyze (a) the stability of NMR in plasma, saliva, and blood in various storage conditions, (b) the relationship between NMRs derived from blood, plasma, saliva, and urine, and (c) the reproducibility of plasma NMR in ad libitum cigarette smokers.
We analyzed data from four clinical studies. In studies 1 and 2, we assessed NMR stability in saliva and plasma samples at room temperature (~22°C) over 14 days and in blood at 4°C for up to 72 hours. In studies 2 and 3, we used Bland-Altman analysis to assess agreement between blood, plasma, saliva, and urine NMRs. In study 4, plasma NMR was measured on 6 occasions over 44 weeks in 43 ad libitum smokers.
Reliability coefficients for stability tests of NMR in plasma and saliva at room temperature were 0.97 and 0.98, respectively, and 0.92 for blood at 4°C. Blood NMR agreed consistently with saliva and plasma NMRs but showed more variability in relation to urine NMR. The reliability coefficient for repeated plasma NMR measurements in smokers was 0.85.
The NMR is stable in blood, plasma, and saliva at the conditions tested. Blood, plasma, and saliva NMRs are similar while urine NMR is a good proxy for these NMR measures. Plasma NMR was reproducible over time in smokers.
One measurement may reliably estimate a smoker’s NMR for use as an estimate of the rate of nicotine metabolism.
Nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR); cotinine; 3-hydroxycotinine; biological stability; chemical stability
Pharmacogenetics research looks at variations in the human genome and ways in which genetic factors might influence how individuals respond to drugs. The authors review basic principles of pharmacogenetics and cite findings from several gene-phenotype studies to illustrate possible associations between genetic variants, drug-related behaviors, and risk for drug dependence. Some gene variants affect responses to one drug; others, to various drugs. Pharmacogenetics can inform medication development and personalized treatment strategies; challenges lie along the pathway to its general use in clinical practice.
The prevalence of tobacco use, both cigarette smoking and smokeless, including iqmik (homemade smokeless tobacco prepared with dried tobacco leaves mixed with alkaline ash), and of tobacco-related cancer is high in Alaskan Native people (AN). To investigate possible mechanisms of increased cancer risk we studied levels of nicotine and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA) in tobacco products and biomarkers of tobacco toxicant exposure in Southwestern AN people.
Participants included 163 cigarette smokers, 76 commercial smokeless tobacco, 20 iqmik, 31 dual cigarette smokers and smokeless tobacco, and 110 nontobacco users. Tobacco use history, samples of tobacco products used, and blood and urine samples were collected.
Nicotine concentrations were highest in cigarette tobacco and TSNAs highest in commercial smokeless tobacco products. The AN participants smoked on average 7.8 cigarettes per day. Nicotine exposure, assessed by several biomarker measures, was highest in iqmik users, and similar in smokeless tobacco and cigarette smokers. TSNA exposure was highest in smokeless tobacco users, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure was highest in cigarette smokers.
Despite smoking fewer cigarettes per day, AN cigarette smokers had similar daily intake of nicotine compared to the general U.S. population. Nicotine exposure was greatest from iqmik, likely related to its high pH due to preparation with ash, suggesting high addiction potential compared to other smokeless tobacco products. TSNA exposure was much higher with smokeless tobacco than other product use, possibly contributing to the high rates of oral cancer.
Our data contribute to an understanding of the high addiction risk of iqmik use and of the cancer-causing potential of various forms of tobacco use among AN people.
We conducted gender-stratified analyses on a systems-based candidate gene study of 53 regions involved in nicotinic response and the brain-reward pathway in two randomized clinical trials of smoking cessation treatments (placebo, bupropion, transdermal and nasal spray nicotine replacement therapy). We adjusted P-values for multiple correlated tests, and used a Bonferroni corrected α-level of 5 × 10−4 to determine system-wide significance. Four SNPs (rs12021667, rs12027267, rs6702335, rs12039988; r2>0.98) in erythrocyte membrane protein band 4.1 (EPB41) had a significant male-specific marginal association with smoking abstinence (OR=0.5; 95% CI 0.3–0.6) at end of treatment (adjusted P<6 × 10−5). rs806365 in cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) had a significant male-specific gene-treatment interaction at 6-month follow-up (adjusted P=3.9 × 10−5); within males using nasal spray, rs806365 was associated with a decrease in odds of abstinence (OR=0.04; 95% CI 0.01–0.2). While the role of CNR1 in substance abuse has been well studied, we report EPB41 for the first time in the nicotine literature.
Genetic association studies; heterogeneity; smoking cessation
Alaska Native people (AN) have a high prevalence of tobacco use and associated morbidity and mortality when compared to the general U.S. population. Variation in the CYP2A6 and CYP2B6 genes, encoding enzymes responsible for nicotine metabolic inactivation and procarcinogen activation, has not been characterized in AN and may contribute to the increased risk.
AN people (n = 400) residing in the Bristol Bay region of South Western Alaska were recruited for a cross-sectional study on tobacco use. They were genotyped for CYP2A6*1X2A, *1X2B, *1B, *2, *4, *7, *8, *9, *10, *12, *17, *35 and CYP2B6*4, *6, *9 and provided plasma and urine samples for measurement of nicotine and metabolites.
CYP2A6 and CYP2B6 variant frequencies among the AN Yupik people (n=361) were significantly different from other ethnicities. Nicotine metabolism (as measured by the plasma and urinary ratio of metabolites trans-3’hydroxycotinine to cotinine [(3HC/COT)] was significantly associated with CYP2A6 (P< 0.001) but not CYP2B6 genotype (P = 0.95) when controlling for known covariates. Of note, plasma 3HC/COT ratios were high in the entire Yupik people, and among the Yupik CYP2A6 wild-type participants they were substantially higher than previously characterized racial/ethnic groups (P < 0.001 vs. Caucasians and African Americans).
Yupik AN people have a unique CYP2A6 genetic profile which associated strongly with in vivo nicotine metabolism. More rapid CYP2A6-mediated nicotine and nitrosamine metabolism in the Yupik people may modulate tobacco-related disease risk.
CYP2A6; CYP2B6; nicotine; tobacco; smoking; genetic variation; Alaska Native people
CYP2A6 is the main enzyme involved in nicotine metabolism in humans. We have identified a novel allele, CYP2A6*23 (2161C>T, R203C), in individuals of Black-African descent and investigated its impact on enzyme activity and association with smoking status.
Wildtype and variant enzymes containing amino acid changes R203C (CYP2A6*23), R203S (CYP2A6*16) and V365M (CYP2A6*17) were expressed in Escherichia coli. The effect of CYP2A6*23 in vivo was examined in individuals of Black-African descent given 4 mg oral nicotine.
CYP2A6*23 occurred at an allele frequency of 2.0% in individuals of Black-African descent (N = 560 alleles, 95% confidence interval 0.8%–3.1%) and was not detected in Caucasians (N = 334 alleles), Chinese (N = 288 alleles) or Japanese (N = 104 alleles). In vitro, CYP2A6.23 had greatly reduced activity towards nicotine C-oxidation similar to CYP2A6.17, as well as reduced coumarin 7-hydroxylation. Conversely, CYP2A6.16 did not differ in activity compared to the wildtype enzyme. The trans-3′-hydroxycotinine to cotinine ratio, a phenotypic measure of CYP2A6 activity in vivo, was lower in CYP2A6*1/*23 and CYP2A6*23/*23 individuals(mean adjusted ratio of 0.60, n = 5) compared to CYP2A6*1/*1 individuals (mean adjusted ratio of 1.21, n = 150) (p < 0.04). CYP2A6*23 trended towards a higher allele frequency in nonsmokers (3.1%, N = 9/286 alleles) compared to smokers (0.7%, N = 2/274 alleles) (p = 0.06).
These results suggest the novel CYP2A6*23 allele impairs enzyme function in vitro and in vivo and trends toward an association with lower risk of smoking.
PMID: 18216723 CAMSID: cams1332
CYP2A6; genetic polymorphisms; Black-Africans; nicotine; smoking
Our aim was to examine the influence that socioeconomics and drug use had on current smokers (n=137) and nonsmokers (n=143) from an urban adult population of black African descent. Participants were a median of 33 years (range 20–59). Smokers consumed a median of 8 cigarettes per day (range 0–35). Interestingly, 86% smoked <15 cigarettes per day and only 8% smoked menthol cigarettes. Socioeconomic and drug use variables that were significantly associated with smoking status in univariate analyses were included in a multiple logistic regression model that controlled for gender and age. Compared to nonsmokers, smokers were less likely to be university educated (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=0.08 [95% CI: 0.02–0.43]), more likely to be divorced/separated/widowed (AOR=10.3 [2.8–37.6]), more likely to be current alcohol users (AOR=3.5 [1.8–7.0]) and more likely to be current marijuana users (AOR=7.1 [3.5–14.2]). Unexpectedly, household income and employment status were not associated with smoking status. Among current alcohol users, smokers consumed three times the number of drinks per month compared to nonsmokers (median 12 vs. 4, respectively; P<0.001). Among current marijuana users, smokers consumed over five times the number of joints per month compared to nonsmokers (median 22 vs. 4, respectively; P<0.001). Overall, lower education, divorce, alcohol and marijuana use were significantly associated with increased likelihood of smoking among this population.
PMID: 18686179 CAMSID: cams1336
black African descent; smoking; socioeconomics; drug use
Cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) metabolize many drugs that act on the central nervous system (CNS), such as antidepressants and antipsychotics; drugs of abuse; endogenous neurochemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine; neurotoxins; and carcinogens. This takes place primarily in the liver, but metabolism can also occur in extrahepatic organs, including the brain. This is important for CNS-acting drugs, as variation in brain CYP-mediated metabolism may be a contributing factor when plasma levels do not predict drug response. This review summarizes the characterization of CYPs in the brain, using examples from the CYP2 subfamily, and discusses sources of variation in brain CYP levels and metabolism. Some recent experiments are described that demonstrate how changes in brain CYP metabolism can influence drug response, toxicity and drug-induced behaviours. Advancing knowledge of brain CYP-mediated metabolism may help us understand why patients respond differently to drugs used in psychiatry and predict risk for psychiatric disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases and substance abuse.
We explored the contribution of nitrosamine metabolism to lung cancer in a pilot investigation of genetic variation in CYP2B6, a high-affinity enzymatic activator of tobacco-specific nitrosamines with a negligible role in nicotine metabolism. Previously we found that variation in CYP2A6 and CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 combined to increase lung cancer risk in a case-control study in European American ever-smokers (n = 860). However, these genes are involved in the pharmacology of both nicotine, through which they alter smoking behaviours, and carcinogenic nitrosamines. Herein, we separated participants by CYP2B6 genotype into a high- vs. low-risk group (*1/*1 + *1/*6 vs. *6/*6). Odds ratios estimated through logistic regression modeling were 1.25 (95% CI 0.68–2.30), 1.27 (95% CI 0.89–1.79) and 1.56 (95% CI 1.04–2.31) for CYP2B6, CYP2A6 and CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4, respectively, with negligible differences when all genes were evaluated concurrently. Modeling the combined impact of high-risk genotypes yielded odds ratios that rose from 2.05 (95% CI 0.39–10.9) to 2.43 (95% CI 0.47–12.7) to 3.94 (95% CI 0.72–21.5) for those with 1, 2 and 3 vs. 0 high-risk genotypes, respectively. Findings from this pilot point to genetic variation in CYP2B6 as a lung cancer risk factor supporting a role for nitrosamine metabolic activation in the molecular mechanism of lung carcinogenesis.
CYP2B6; CYP2A6; CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4; tobacco specific nitrosamines; lung cancer risk; genetic variation
Previous research demonstrated the efficacy of sustained release bupropion (bupropion SR) for smoking cessation in whites as well as moderate to heavy (≥10 cigarettes per day [CPD]) African American smokers. We evaluated whether bupropion SR was effective for smoking cessation among African American light smokers (≤10 CPD).
A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial was conducted from December 27, 2007, to May 13, 2010. All participants were African American light smokers (≤10 CPD), aged 18 years or older. Participants were randomly assigned to receive 300 mg bupropion SR (150 mg once daily for 3 days and then 150 mg twice daily) (n = 270 participants) or placebo (n = 270 participants) for 7 weeks, and up to six sessions of health education counseling. Serum cotinine was measured at baseline (week 0). The primary outcome was salivary cotinine–verified 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence at week 26; a cut point of 15 ng/mL differentiated smokers from nonsmokers. Salivary cotinine–verified smoking abstinence at end of medication treatment at week 7 was also examined. Odds ratios (OR) for smoking abstinence and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using logistic regression models. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Participants at baseline visit (week 0) smoked an average of 8.0 CPD and had a mean serum cotinine level of 275.8 ng/mL (SD = 155.8 ng/mL); most used menthol cigarettes (83.7%) and smoked within 30 minutes of waking (72.2%). After imputing those lost to follow-up as smokers, no statistically significant difference in long-term smoking abstinence rates at week 26 was observed between bupropion SR and placebo groups (13.3% vs 10.0%, OR = 1.39, 95% CI = 0.82 to 2.35, P = .23). Cotinine-verified smoking abstinence rate at end of medication week 7 was higher in the bupropion SR vs placebo group (23.7% vs 9.6%, OR = 2.92, 95% CI = 1.78 to 4.77, P < .001).
Bupropion SR was effective in promoting smoking cessation during the medication phase of treatment but showed no effect on long-term smoking cessation among African American light smokers. More research is needed to identify strategies for sustaining abstinence among African American light smokers.
Cytochrome P450 (CYPs) enzymes are responsible for the metabolism of many exogenous and endogenous compounds. CYPs are abundant in the liver and are also expressed in many extra-hepatic tissues including the brain. Although the total CYP levels in the brain are much lower than in the liver, brain CYPs are concentrated near drug targets in specific regions and cell types, potentially having a considerable impact on local metabolism. Individual differences in brain CYP metabolism, due to inducers, inhibitors or genetic variation, can influence sensitivity and response to centrally acting drugs. Brain CYPs may also play a role in modulating brain activity, behavior, susceptibility to CNS diseases and treatment outcomes. This review highlights the recent progress that has been made in understanding the functional significance of CYPs in the brain.
Genome-wide association studies have linked single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CHRNA5/A3/B4 gene cluster with heaviness of smoking. The nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR), a measure of the rate of nicotine metabolism, is associated with the number of cigarettes per day (CPD) and likelihood of cessation. We tested the potential interacting effects of these two risk factors on CPD.
Pretreatment data from three prior clinical trials were pooled for analysis. One thousand and thirty treatment seekers of European ancestry with genotype data for the CHRNA5/A3/B4 SNPs rs578776 and rs1051730 and complete data for NMR and CPD at pretreatment were included. Data for the third SNP, rs16969968, were available for 677 individuals. Linear regression models estimated the main and interacting effects of genotype and NMR on CPD.
We confirmed independent associations between the NMR and CPD as well as between the SNPs rs16969968 and rs1051730 and CPD. We did not detect a significant interaction between NMR and any of the SNPs examined.
This study demonstrates the additive and independent association of the NMR and SNPs in the CHRNA5/A3/B4 gene cluster with smoking rate in treatment-seeking smokers.
The influence of developmental nicotine exposure on the brain represents an important health topic in light of the popularity of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) as a smoking cessation method during pregnancy.
In this study, we used a model of NRT during pregnancy and breastfeeding to explore the consequences of chronic developmental nicotine exposure on cerebral neuroplasticity in the offspring. We focused on two dynamic lifelong phenomena in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus that are highly sensitive to the environment: granule cell neurogenesis and long-term potentiation (LTP).
Pregnant rats were implanted with osmotic mini-pumps delivering either nicotine or saline solutions. Plasma nicotine and metabolite levels were measured in dams and offspring. Corticosterone levels, DG neurogenesis (cell proliferation, survival and differentiation) and glutamatergic electrophysiological activity were measured in pups.
Juvenile (P15) and adolescent (P41) offspring exposed to nicotine throughout prenatal and postnatal development displayed no significant alteration in DG neurogenesis compared to control offspring. However, NRT-like nicotine exposure significantly increased LTP in the DG of juvenile offspring as measured in vitro from hippocampal slices, suggesting that the mechanisms underlying nicotine-induced LTP enhancement previously described in adult rats are already functional in pups.
These results indicate that synaptic plasticity is disrupted in offspring breastfed by dams passively exposed to nicotine in an NRT-like fashion.
To investigate the association of CYP2A6 genetic polymorphisms with smoking-related phenotypes in Chinese smokers.
Case-only genetic association study.
A total of 1,328 Han Chinese smokers who participated in a community-based chronic disease screening project in Guangzhou and Zhuhai from 2006 to 2007.
All participants were answered a structured questionnaire about socio-demographic status and smoking behaviors and informative alleles for the cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6) gene (CYP2A6 *4, *5, *7, *9 and *10) were genotyped.
The frequencies of CYP2A6 *4, *5, *7, *9 and *10 alleles were 8.5%, 1.2%, 6.3%, 13.5% and 2.4%, which corresponded to 48.9%, 15.4%, 24.2% and 11.5% of participants being classified as normal, intermediate, slow and poor metabolizers, respectively. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that compared with normal metabolizers, poor metabolizers reported smoking fewer cigarettes per day (adjusted OR = 0.49; 95% CI: 0.32–0.76), started smoking regularly later in life (adjusted OR = 1.55; 95% CI: 1.06–2.26) and, amongst former smokers, reported smoking for a shorter duration prior to quitting (adjusted OR = 0.33; 95% CI: 0.12–0.94). However, poor metabolizers were less likely to quit smoking and remain abstinent than normal metabolizers (OR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.34–0.86).
Reduced metabolism function of CYP2A6 in smokers appears to be associated with fewer cigarettes smoked, later initiation of smoking regularly, shorter smoking duration and lower likelihood of smoking cessation.
CYP2A6; genetic polymorphisms; smoking behavior; Chinese smokers
Drug-metabolizing cytochrome P450 (CYPs) enzymes are expressed in the liver, as well as in extrahepatic tissues such as the brain. Here we show for the first time that drug metabolism by a CYP within the brain, illustrated using CYP2B and the anesthetic propofol (2, 6-diisopropylphenol, Diprivan), can meaningfully alter the pharmacological response to a CNS acting drug. CYP2B is expressed in the brains of animals and humans, and this CYP isoform is able to metabolize centrally acting substrates such as propofol, ecstasy, and serotonin. Rats were given intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) injections of vehicle, C8-xanthate, or 8-methoxypsoralen (CYP2B mechanism-based inhibitors) and then tested for sleep time following propofol (80 mg/kg intraperitoneally). Both inhibitors significantly increased sleep-time (1.8- to 2-fold) and brain propofol levels, while having no effect on plasma propofol levels. Seven days of nicotine treatment can induce the expression of brain, but not hepatic, CYP2B, and this induction reduced propofol sleep times by 2.5-fold. This reduction was reversed in a dose-dependent manner by i.c.v. injections of inhibitor. Sleep times correlated with brain (r=0.76, P=0.0009), but not plasma (r=0.24, P=0.39) propofol concentrations. Inhibitor treatments increased brain, but not plasma, propofol levels, and had no effect on hepatic enzyme activity. These data indicate that brain CYP2B can metabolize neuroactive substrates (eg, propofol) and can alter their pharmacological response. This has wider implications for localized CYP-mediated metabolism of drugs, neurotransmitters, and neurotoxins within the brain by this highly variable enzyme family and other CYP subfamilies expressed in the brain.
cytochrome P450; brain; propofol; metabolism; sleep; anesthesia; animal models; neuropharmacology; molecular & cellular neurobiology; behavioral science; cytochrome P450; metabolism; brain; sleep; propofol
Variability in smoking behavior is partly attributable to heritable individual differences in nicotine clearance rates. This can be assessed as the ratio of the metabolites cotinine (COT) and 3'-hydroxycotinine (3HC) (referred to as the nicotine metabolism ratio, NMR). We hypothesized that faster NMR would be associated with greater cigarette puff volume and higher levels of total NNAL, a carcinogen biomarker.
Current smokers (n=109) smoked one of their preferred brand cigarettes through a smoking topography device and provided specimens for NMR and total NNAL assays.
Faster nicotine metabolizers (third and fourth quartiles versus first quartile) based on the NMR exhibited significantly greater total puff volume and total NNAL; the total puff volume by daily cigarette consumption interaction was a significant predictor of total NNAL level.
A heritable biomarker of nicotine clearance predicts total cigarette puff volume and total NNAL.
If validated, the NMR could contribute to smoking risk assessment in epidemiological studies and potentially in clinical practice.
Considerable public health efforts are ongoing Canada-wide to reduce the prevalence of smoking in the general population. From 1985 to 2005, smoking rates among adults decreased from 35% to 19%, however, since that time, the prevalence has plateaued at around 18-19%. To continue to reduce the number of smokers at the population level, one option has been to translate interventions that have demonstrated clinical efficacy into population level initiatives. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) has a considerable clinical research base demonstrating its efficacy and safety and thus public health initiatives in Canada and other countries are distributing NRT widely through the mail. However, one important question remains unanswered - do smoking cessation programs that involve mailed distribution of free NRT work? To answer this question, a randomized controlled trial is required.
A single blinded, panel survey design with random assignment to an experimental and a control condition will be used in this study. A two-stage recruitment process will be employed, in the context of a general population survey with two follow-ups (8 weeks and 6 months). Random digit dialing of Canadian home telephone numbers will identify households with adult smokers (aged 18+ years) who are willing to take part in a smoking study that involves three interviews, with saliva collection for 3-HC/cotinine ratio measurement at baseline and saliva cotinine verification at 8-week and 6-month follow-ups (N = 3,000). Eligible subjects interested in free NRT will be determined at baseline (N = 1,000) and subsequently randomized into experimental and control conditions to receive versus not receive nicotine patches. The primary hypothesis is that subjects who receive nicotine patches will display significantly higher quit rates (as assessed by 30 day point prevalence of abstinence from tobacco) at 6-month follow-up as compared to subjects who do not receive nicotine patches at baseline.
The findings from the proposed trial are timely and highly relevant as mailed distribution of NRT require considerable resources and there are limited public health dollars available to combat this substantial health concern. In addition, findings from this randomized controlled trial will inform the development of models to engage smokers to quit, incorporating proactive recruitment and the offer of evidence based treatment.
The mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system is implicated in the processing of the positive reinforcing effect of all drugs of abuse, including nicotine. It has been suggested that the dopaminergic system is also involved in the aversive motivational response to drug withdrawal, particularly for opiates, however, the role for dopaminergic signaling in the processing of the negative motivational properties of nicotine withdrawal is largely unknown. We hypothesized that signaling at dopaminergic receptors mediates chronic nicotine withdrawal aversions and that dopaminergic signaling would differentially mediate acute vs dependent nicotine motivation. We report that nicotine-dependent rats and mice showed conditioned place aversions to an environment paired with abstinence from chronic nicotine that were blocked by the DA receptor antagonist α-flupenthixol (α-flu) and in DA D2 receptor knockout mice. Conversely, α-flu pretreatment had no effect on preferences for an environment paired with abstinence from acute nicotine. Taken together, these results suggest that dopaminergic signaling is necessary for the opponent motivational response to nicotine in dependent, but not non-dependent, rodents. Further, signaling at the DA D2 receptor is critical in mediating withdrawal aversions in nicotine-dependent animals. We suggest that the alleviation of nicotine withdrawal primarily may be driving nicotine motivation in dependent animals.
conditioned place preference; aversion; dopamine; withdrawal; motivation; D2 receptor; Dopamine; Addiction & Substance Abuse; Neuropharmacology; Animal models; Behavioural Neuroscience; Nicotine; Withdrawal; Opponent process; D2 receptor
While expired carbon monoxide (CO) and plasma cotinine (COT) have been validated as biomarkers of self-reported cigarettes per day (CPD) in heavy smoking Caucasians, their utility in light smokers is unknown. Further, variability in CYP2A6, the enzyme that mediates formation of COT from nicotine (NIC) and its metabolism to trans-3′-hydroxycotinine (3HC), may limit the usefulness of COT. We assessed whether CO and COT are correlated with CPD in African-American light smokers (≤10CPD, n=700), a population with known reduced CYP2A6 activity and slow COT metabolism. We also examined whether gender, age, BMI, smoking mentholated cigarettes or rate of CYP2A6 activity, by genotype and phenotype measures (3HC/COT), influence these relationships. At baseline, many participants (42%) exhaled CO ≤10ppm, the traditional cutoff for smoking, while few (3.1%) had COT below the cutoff of ≤14ng/ml; thus COT appears to be a better biomarker of smoking status in this population. CPD was weakly correlated with CO and COT (r = 0.32–0.39, p<0.001), and those reporting fewer CPD had higher CO/cigarette and COT/cigarette, although the correlations coefficients between these variables were also weak (r = −0.33 and −0.08, p < 0.05). The correlation between CPD and CO was not greatly increased when analyzed by CYP2A6 activity, smoking mentholated cigarettes or age, although it appeared stronger in females (r = 0.38 vs.0.21, p<0.05) and obese individuals (r = 0.38 vs.0.24, p<0.05). Together, these results suggest that CO and COT are weakly associated with self-reported cigarette consumption in African-American light smokers, and that these relationships are not substantially improved when variables previously reported to influence these biomarkers are considered.
biomarkers; smoking; cotinine; carbon monoxide; African-Americans