Metabolism of taxol by human and rat liver in vitro: A screen for drug interactions and interspecies differences

Carlos A. Jamis-Dow, Raymond W. Klecker, Aspandiar G. Katki, Jerry M. Collins

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68 Scopus citations


Human liver slices, human liver microsomes, and rat liver microsomes were used to investigate the metabolism of3H-taxol. The effects of drugs frequently coadministered with taxol and the effects of several cytochrome P450 system probes were studied. In all, 16 compounds were screened. After incubation with liver slices or with microsomal protein,3H-taxol was converted into several radioactive species resolved by HPLC. There were qualitative and quantitative species differences in the metabolism of taxol. The pattern of metabolism was similar for both human-derived preparations, with 6α-hydroxytaxol being the major metabolite peak. In drug interaction studies performed with human liver microsomes, cimetidine 80 μM, and diphenhydramine 200 μM, had little or no effect on 6α-hydroxytaxol formation. Quinidine, ketoconazole, dexamethasone and Cremophor EL inhibited 6α-hydroxytaxol formation with IC50 values of 36 μM, 37 μM, 16 μM and 1 μl/ml, respectively, but these concentrations exceed the usual clinical range. Cremophor EL also inhibited microsomal metabolism of taxol, but at 2 μl/ml it had little or no effect on 6α-hydroxytaxol production by human liver slices. These results suggest that: (1) taxol is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system; (2) taxol metabolism is different in humans than in rats; (3) taxol metabolism in humans is unlikely to be altered by cimetidine, dexamethasone, or diphenhydramine, drugs regularly coadministered with taxol; (4) taxol metabolism can be indirectly affected by Cremophor EL, the formulation vehicle; (5) taxol metabolism may be altered by concentrations of ketoconazole achievable in humans only at very high doses; and (6) taxol metabolism and drug interaction studies of clinical relevance can be performed in vitro with human liver microsomes and human liver slices, but not with rat liver preparations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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