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Keywords:

  • sulfotransferase;
  • SULT1A1;
  • SULT2A1;
  • caffeine;
  • regulation;
  • induction

ABSTRACT

Sulfotransferases (SULTs) are important phase II drug-metabolizing enzymes. Regulation of SULTs by hormones and other endogenous molecules is relatively well understood, while xenobiotic induction of SULTs is not well studied. Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed psychoactive substances. However, SULT regulation by caffeine has not been reported. In this report, male and female rats were treated with different oral doses of caffeine (2, 10, 50 mg kg−1 per day) for 7 days. Western blot and real-time RT-PCR were used to investigate the changes in SULT protein and mRNA expression following the caffeine treatment. Caffeine induced both rat aryl sulfotransferase (rSULT1A1, AST-IV) and rat hydroxysteroid sulfotransferase (rSULT2A1, STa) in the liver and intestine of female rats in a dose-dependent manner. Caffeine induction of rSULT1A1 and rSULT2A1 in the female rat intestine was much stronger than that in the liver. Although caffeine induced rSULT1A1 significantly in the male rat liver, it did not significantly induce rSULT2A1. In male rat intestine, caffeine significantly induced rSULT2A1. The different SULTs induction patterns in male and female rats suggest that the regulation of rat SULTs by caffeine may be affected by different hormone secretion patterns and levels. Our results suggest that consumption of caffeine can induce drug metabolizing SULTs in drug detoxification tissues. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.