Hydroxychloroquine is metabolized by CYP2D6, CYP3A4, and CYP2C8, and inhibits CYP2D6, while its metabolites also inhibit CYP3A in vitro

Marie-Noëlle Paludetto, Mika Kurkela, Helinä Kahma, Janne T Backman, Mikko Niemi, Anne M Filppula

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Abstract

This study aimed to explore the cytochrome P450 (CYP) metabolic and inhibitory profile of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Hydroxychloroquine metabolism was studied using human liver microsomes (HLMs) and recombinant CYP enzymes. The inhibitory effects of HCQ and its metabolites on nine CYPs were also determined in HLMs, using an automated substrate cocktail method. Our metabolism data indicated that CYP3A4, CYP2D6, and CYP2C8 are the key enzymes involved in HCQ metabolism. All three CYPs formed the primary metabolites desethylchloroquine (DCQ) and desethylhydroxychloroquine (DHCQ) to various degree. Although the intrinsic clearance (CLint) value of HCQ depletion by recombinant CYP2D6 was >tenfold higher than that by CYP3A4 (0.87 vs 0.075 µl/min/pmol), scaling of recombinant CYP CLint to HLM level resulted in almost equal HLM CLint values for CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 (11 and 14 µl/min/mg, respectively). The scaled HLM CLint of CYP2C8 was 5.7 µl/min/mg. Data from HLM experiments with CYP-selective inhibitors also suggested relatively equal roles for CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 in HCQ metabolism, with a smaller contribution by CYP2C8. In CYP inhibition experiments, HCQ, DCQ, DHCQ and the secondary metabolite didesethylchloroquine were direct CYP2D6 inhibitors, with 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values between 18-135 µM. HCQ did not inhibit other CYPs. Furthermore, all metabolites were time-dependent CYP3A inhibitors (IC50 shift 2.2-3.4). To conclude, HCQ is metabolized by CYP3A4, CYP2D6, and CYP2C8 in vitro HCQ and its metabolites are reversible CYP2D6 inhibitors, and HCQ metabolites are time-dependent CYP3A inhibitors. These data can be used to improve physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models and update drug-drug interaction risk estimations for HCQ. Significance Statement While CYP2D6, CYP3A4, and CYP2C8 have been shown to mediate chloroquine biotransformation, it appears that the role of CYP enzymes in hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) metabolism has not been studied. In addition, little is known about the CYP inhibitory effects of HCQ. Here we demonstrate that CYP2D6, CYP3A4 and CYP2C8 are the key enzymes involved in HCQ metabolism. Furthermore, our findings show that HCQ and its metabolites are inhibitors of CYP2D6, which likely explains the previously observed interaction between HCQ and metoprolol.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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