Treatment with benzbromarone (BBR), a potent uricosuric drug, can be associated with liver injury. Recently, we reported that culture of human hepatocellular carcinoma FLC-4 cells on micro-space cell culture plates could increase the functional expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes including CYP3A4 and CYP2C9, which are involved in 1'-hydroxylation and 6-hydroxylation of BBR, respectively. Therefore, we examined whether BBR and its two metabolites (1'-hydroxy BBR and 6-hydroxy BBR) have cytotoxic effects in FLC4 cells cultured on micro-space cell culture plates. The present study showed that BBR and 1'-hydroxy BBR, but not 6-hydroxy BBR, have cytotoxic effects in cells cultured on micro-space cell culture plates. BBR-induced cytotoxicity was decreased by CYP3A inhibitors (itraconazole and ketoconazole), an Nrf2 activator (tert-butylhydroquinone) and a GSH precursor (N-acetyl-L-cystein). In contrast, BBR-induced cytotoxicity was increased by a GSH biosynthesis inhibitor (buthionine sulfoximine) and an inhibitor of NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 (dicoumarol). These results suggested that metabolic activation of 1'-hydroxy BBR via CYP3A, formation of quinone metabolites and the decrease in GSH levels were involved in the BBR-induced cytotoxicity observed in FLC4 cells cultured on micro-space cell culture plates.
2012 by The Japanese Society for the Study of Xenobiotics