BACKGROUND: Several microtubule targeting agents are capable of inducing CYP3A4 via activation of the pregnane X receptor (PXR; NR1I2). OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the CYP3A4 induction potential of vinblastine both clinically and in vitro and determine the involvement of the nuclear receptors NR1I2 and the constitutive androstane receptor (NR1I3). METHODS: Midazolam pharmacokinetics were evaluated in 6 patients who were enrolled in a Phase 1/2 study of infusional vinblastine given in combination with the ABCB1 (P-glycoprotein) antagonist valspodar (PSC 833) and received the CYP3A4 phenotyping probe midazolam on more than 1 occasion. Genotyping was conducted in CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and ABCB1 to rule out potential pharmacogenetic influences. Clinical data were followed-up by Western blotting and reporter assays in HepG2 and NIH3T3 cells treated with vinblastine over a dose range of 150-4800 ng/mL for 48 hours. RESULTS: In 6 patients with cancer, vinblastine increased the median (95% CI) clearance of the CYP3A4 phenotyping probe midazolam from 21.7 L/h (12.6 to 28.1) to 32.3 L/h (17.3 to 53.9) (p = 0.0156, Wilcoxon signed-rank test). No obvious effect of polymorphisms in CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and ABCB1 on midazolam clearance was observed. In vitro, vinblastine induced CYP3A4 protein. Furthermore, cell-based reporter gene assays using transiently transfected HepG2 and NIH3T3 cells indicated that vinblastine (150-4800 ng/mL) weakly activated human and mouse full-length NR1I2, but had no influence on NR1I3. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these findings suggest that vinblastine is able to induce CYP3A4, at least in part, via an NR1I2-dependent mechanism, and thus has the potential to facilitate its own elimination and cause interactions with other CYP3A4 substrates.
- NR1I2 (PXR)