Metabolism of irinotecan and its active metabolite SN-38 by intestinal microflora in rats

1994 Oncology Reports  
One of the dose-limiting toxicities of irinotecan (CPT-11) is delayed-onset diarrhea, which is the greatest barrier to treatment with CPT-11-containing regimens. CPT-11 is converted to its active metabolite, SN-38, which is conjugated by hepatic uridine diphosphate glucuronosyl transferase to SN-38 glucuronide (SN-38G). SN-38G, once excreted in the intestinal lumen via bile, is extensively deconjugated by bacterial ß-glucuronidase with the regeneration of SN-38 in the intestinal lumen, which
more » ... nal lumen, which may cause diarrhea. However, the metabolism of CPT-11 and its metabolites by intestinal microflora are yet to be reported. This study was carried out to investigate the microbial transformation of CPT-11 and SN-38 using an anaerobic mixed culture of rat cecal microorganisms. No reaction in the mixed cultures was observed when CPT-11 or SN-38 lactone was added to the culture medium. When CPT-11 was added to the culture broth, a significant amount of water-soluble CPT-11 was detected in the spent culture medium. In contrast, only a slight amount of SN-38 was found in the supernatant when SN-38 lactone was added to the broth. A significant quantity of SN-38 was found in the sediment. In conclusion, these results strongly suggest that SN-38 produced from SN-38G by the action of bacterial ß-glucuronidase is rapidly adsorbed by the intestinal bacterial cell walls in the sediment because of the hydrophobic and lipophilic nature of SN-38, and a small amount of SN-38 remains in the intestinal luminal fluid. Thus, we need to reconsider the role of SN-38 in the intestinal lumen in CPT-11-induced late-onset diarrhea.
doi:10.3892/or_00000066 fatcat:g2gl5ulaejalvhrqzelyjz7pua