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  • Author or Editor: Regula Theurillat x
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Objective—To identify and characterize cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) responsible for the metabolism of racemic ketamine in 3 mammalian species in vitro by use of chemical inhibitors and antibodies.

Sample—Human, canine, and equine liver microsomes and human single CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 and their canine orthologs.

Procedures—Chemical inhibitors selective for human CYP enzymes and anti-CYP antibodies were incubated with racemic ketamine and liver microsomes or specific CYPs. Ketamine N-demethylation to norketamine was determined via enantioselective capillary electrophoresis.

Results—The general CYP inhibitor 1-aminobenzotriazole almost completely blocked ketamine metabolism in human and canine liver microsomes but not in equine microsomes. Chemical inhibition of norketamine formation was dependent on inhibitor concentration in most circumstances. For all 3 species, inhibitors of CYP3A4, CYP2A6, CYP2C19, CYP2B6, and CYP2C9 diminished N-demethylation of ketamine. Anti-CYP3A4, anti-CYP2C9, and anti-CYP2B6 antibodies also inhibited ketamine N-demethylation. Chemical inhibition was strongest with inhibitors of CYP2A6 and CYP2C19 in canine and equine microsomes and with the CYP3A4 inhibitor in human microsomes. No significant contribution of CYP2D6 to ketamine biotransformation was observed. Although the human CYP2C9 inhibitor blocked ketamine N-demethylation completely in the canine ortholog CYP2C21, a strong inhibition was also obtained by the chemical inhibitors of CYP2C19 and CYP2B6. Ketamine N-demethylation was stereoselective in single human CYP3A4 and canine CYP2C21 enzymes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Human-specific inhibitors of CYP2A6, CYP2C19, CYP3A4, CYP2B6, and CYP2C9 diminished ketamine N-demethylation in dogs and horses. To address drug-drug interactions in these animal species, investigations with single CYPs are needed.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To investigate cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes involved in metabolism of racemic and S-ketamine in various species and to evaluate metabolic interactions of other analgesics with ketamine.

Sample Population—Human, equine, and canine liver microsomes.

Procedures—An analgesic was concurrently incubated with luminogenic substrates specific for CYP 3A4 or CYP 2C9 and liver microsomes. The luminescence signal was detected and compared with the signal for negative control samples. Ketamine and norketamine enantiomers were determined by use of capillary electrophoresis.

Results—A concentration-dependent decrease in luminescence signal was detected for ibuprofen and diclofenac in the assay for CYP 2C9 in human and equine liver microsomes but not in the assay for CYP 3A4 and methadone or xylazine in any of the species. Coincubation of methadone or xylazine with ketamine resulted in a decrease in norketamine formation in equine and canine liver microsomes but not in human liver microsomes. In all species, norketamine formation was not affected by ibuprofen, but diclofenac reduced norketamine formation in human liver microsomes. A higher rate of metabolism was detected for S-ketamine in equine liver microsomes, compared with the rate for the S-enantiomer in the racemic mixture when incubated with any of the analgesics investigated.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Enzymes of the CYP 3A4 family and orthologs of CYP 2C9 were involved in ketamine metabolism in horses, dogs, and humans. Methadone and xylazine inhibited in vitro metabolism of ketamine. Therefore, higher concentrations and diminished clearance of ketamine may cause adverse effects when administered concurrently with other analgesics.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research