Increased sensitivity of the microsomal oxidation of ethanol to inhibition by pyrazole and 4-methylpyrazole after chronic ethanol treatment

Dennis E. Feierman, Arthur I. Cederbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Pyrazole and 4-methylpyrazole, inhibitors of the oxidation of ethanol by alcohol dehydrogenase, also inhibit microsomal metabolism of ethanol. The inhibitory effectiveness of these agents was increased in microsomes isolated from rats treated chronically with ethanol as compared to microsomes from pair-fed controls or from rats treated with other cytochrome P-450 inducers such as phenobarbital or 3-methylcholanthrene. Pyrazole and 4-methylpyrazole produced type II binding spectra with all the microsomal preparations. However, there was an increased affinity (lower Ks value) for these agents by the microsomes from the ethanol-fed rats. A correlation between Ks values and inhibitory effectiveness against ethanol oxidation by the various microsomal preparations could be observed. This suggests that an increase in affinity, which may reflect the induction of an alcohol-preferring isozyme of cytochrome P-450, is responsible for the increased inhibitory effectiveness of pyrazole and 4-methylpyrazole towards ethanol oxidation by microsomes after chronic ethanol treatment. One difference between pyrazole and 4-methylpyrazole was the increased affinity and inhibitory effectiveness of the latter but not the former with microsomes from rats treated with 3-methylcholanthrene. This could be due to the ability of 4-methylpyrazole, compared to pyrazole, to interact with and induce several isozymes of cytochrome P-450. Pyrazole and 4-methylpyrazole are often utilized to evaluate ethanol metabolism by alcoholdehydrogenase-dependent and -independent pathways. However, the sensitivity of microsomal ethanol oxidation to inhibition by these agents, especially after chronic ethanol treatment, would suggest that their use in this regard is complex and could tend to underestimate the contribution of the microsomal pathway towards the metabolic tolerance found after ethanol treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3277-3283
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 1987


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