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Wednesday 16 August 2000

Evidence for the activation of organophosphate pesticides by cytochromes P450 3A4 and 2D6 in human liver microsomes.

By: Sams C, Mason HJ, Rawbone R.

Toxicol Lett 2000 Aug 16;116(3):217-21

The role of specific cytochrome P450 isoforms in catalysing the oxidative biotransformation of the organophosphorothioate pesticides parathion, chlorpyrifos and diazinon into structures that inhibit cholinesterase has been investigated in human liver microsomes using chemical inhibitors. Pesticides were incubated with human liver microsomes and production of the anticholinergic oxon metabolite was investigated by the inhibition of human serum cholinesterase. Quinidine and ketoconazole at 10 micromol/l inhibited oxidative biotransformation. Compared to control incubations (no inhibitor) where cholinesterase activity was inhibited to between 1 and 4% of control levels, incorporation of the CYP2D6 inhibitor quinidine into the microsomal incubation resulted in cholinesterase activity of 50% for parathion, 38% for diazinon and 30% for chlorpyrifos. Addition of the CYP3A4 inhibitor ketoconazole to microsomal incubations resulted in 66% cholinesterase activity with diazinon, 20% with parathion and 5% with chlorpyrifos. The unexpected finding that CYP2D6, as well as CYP3A4, catalysed oxidative biotransformation was confirmed for chlorpyrifos and parathion using microsomes prepared from a human lymphoblastoid cell line expressing CYP2D6. While parathion has been investigated only as a model compound, chlorpyrifos and diazinon are both very important, widely used pesticides and CYP2D6 appears to be an important enzyme in their bioactivation pathway. CYP2D6 is polymorphic and hence may influence individual susceptibility to exposure to chlorpyrifos and diazinon as well as other structurally similar pesticides.

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