Role of hepatic cytochrome P450s in the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of cyclophosphamide: studies with the hepatic cytochrome P450 reductase null mouse

Georgia J. Pass, Dianne Carrie, Michael Boylan, Sally Lorimore, Eric Wright, Brian Houston, Colin J. Henderson, C. Roland Wolf

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    120 Citations (Scopus)


    Cyclophosphamide (CPA) is an anticancer prodrug that is dependent on cytochrome P450 (CYP) metabolism for its therapeutic effectiveness. In spite of the use of CPA in the clinic for over 50 years, little is known about the relationship between its toxicokinetics and therapeutic response. We have employed a powerful new model, the Hepatic Cytochrome P450 Reductase Null (HRN) mouse, which has almost no hepatic cytochrome P450 activity, to study the toxicokinetics of CPA and to establish in vivo the role of hepatic P450 metabolism in its pharmacokinetics. In HRN mice the in vitro metabolism and intrinsic clearance of CPA was over 6-fold lower than in wild-type animals. This change in CPA metabolism was also reflected in vivo, with a profound difference in the pharmacokinetics of both CPA and its metabolites. At a CPA dose of 100 mg/kg, the C-max, plasma area under the curve (AUC) and half-life were increased by 2.6-, 6.2-, and 3.2-fold, respectively, in the HRN mice. Similar changes were also observed at a dose of 300 mg/kg. These data confirm that hepatic metabolism is the major route of CPA elimination and disposition. The primary metabolites of CPA, 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide (4-OH-CPA) and 3-dechloroethylcyclophosphamide, were still formed, but at altered rates in the HRN mice. At 100 mg/kg the t(1/2) for 4-OH-CPA was increased 1.8-fold, the Cm reduced 1.7-fold, and the AUC remained unchanged. This latter finding shows that P450-mediated oxidative metabolism is essential for the clearance of this compound. Toxicokinetic analysis of CPA-induced myclosuppression and granulocytopenia showed that at high doses (≥ 100 mg/kg) there was no difference in myelotoxicity between the wild-type and HRN mice. However, at lower doses (≥ 70 mg/kg) a significant difference was observed, with little toxicity seen in HRN mice but at least a 45% reduction in the bone marrow granulocyte population in wild-type mice. Meta-analysis of the toxicity experiments showed the myelotoxicity of CPA was found to be closely correlated with the Cm of 4-OH-CPA (r(2) = 0.80, p = 0.002). As the therapeutic effectiveness of CPA has been linked to the AUC for 4-OH-CPA, the finding that 4-OH-CPA Cmax may determine its level of myelotoxicity indicates that the therapeutic index could be altered by changing the method of CPA administration. Furthermore, monitoring 4-OH-CPA C-max may identify individuals at most risk of CPA side effects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4211-4217
    Number of pages7
    JournalCancer Research
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2005


    • Cyclophosphamide
    • Hepatic cytochrome P450 reductase null mouse
    • Liver metabolism
    • Myelosuppression
    • Anticancer drugs
    • Toxicokinetics


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