Expression of the CYP3A and CYP2C11 enzymes in a nutritionally obese rodent model: Response to phenobarbital treatment

P. N. Zannikos, A. M. Bandyopadhyay, L. W. Robertson, R. A. Blouin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this study, the overfed rat was employed as a model for examining the influence of obesity on the regulation of hepatic cytochromes P450 3A and 2C11 (CYP3A and CYP2C11, respectively). These proteins represent the predominant constitutive hepatic P450 enzymes of male rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were chronically fed a standard pelleted diet or an energy-dense diet which typically results in significant increases in body weight, serum triglyceride levels and liver lipid content. Obesity did not influence baseline levels of spectral cytochrome P450 content. Similar baseline activities of CYP3A (testosterone 6β-hydroxylation), comparative CYP3A protein levels (Western blot) and steady-state CYP3A mRNA (slot blot), were found in rats fed either diet. Likewise, obesity did not appear to influence CYP2C11 at the enzyme activity (testosterone 2α-hydroxylation) or mRNA levels. Half of the animals in each group received 20 mg phenobarbital (intraperitoneal injection) per animal every 12 hours for three consecutive days. This resulted in similar phenobarbital plasma concentrations in both groups. Phenobarbital treatment increased the concentrations of total cytochrome P450 in both lean and obese rats to the same extent. CYP3A activity, protein and mRNA levels were induced to a similar magnitude in rats fed either diet. Furthermore, obesity did not influence CYP2C11 activity or mRNA levels following administration of phenobarbital. A lack of an effect of obesity and the altered lipid environment on the regulation of CYP3A and CYP2C11 is in contrast to other enzymes studied previously. It is apparent that the consequences of obesity on hepatic cytochrome P450 may be enzyme-specific.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-374
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1994


  • Cytochrome P450 2C11
  • Cytochrome P450 3A
  • Drug metabolism
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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