Impact of Curcumin-Induced Changes in P-Glycoprotein and CYP3A Expression on the Pharmacokinetics of Peroral Celiprolol and Midazolam in Rats

Author(s): Zhang W, Tan TM, Lim LY


The aim of this study was to evaluate whether curcumin could modulate P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and CYP3A expression, and in turn modify the pharmacokinetic profiles of P-gp and CYP3A substrates in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Intragastric gavage of the rats with 60 mg/kg curcumin for 4 consecutive days led to a down-regulation of the intestinal P-gp level. There was a concomitant upregulation of hepatic P-gp level, but the renal P-gp level was unaffected. Curcumin also attenuated the CYP3A level in the small intestine but induced CYP3A expression in the liver and kidney. Regular curcumin consumption also caused the C(max) and area under the concentration-time curve (AUC(0-8) and total AUC) of peroral celiprolol (a P-gp substrate with negligible cytochrome P450 metabolism) at 30 mg/kg to increase, but the apparent oral clearance (CL(oral)) of the drug was reduced. Similarly, rats treated with curcumin for 4 consecutive days showed higher AUC (AUC(0-4) and total AUC) and lower CL(oral) for peroral midazolam (a CYP3A substrate that does not interact with the P-gp) at 20 mg/kg in comparison with vehicle-treated rats. In contrast, curcumin administered 30 min before the respective drug treatments did not significantly modify the pharmacokinetic parameters of the drugs. Analysis of the data suggests that the changes in the pharmacokinetic profiles of peroral celiprolol and midazolam in the rat model were contributed mainly by the curcumin-mediated down-regulation of intestinal P-gp and CYP3A protein levels, respectively.

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