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Role of intestinal microflora in xenobiotic-induced toxicity


Correspondence: Professor Tae Cheon Jeong, College of Pharmacy, Yeungnam University, 214‒1, Dae-dong, Gyeongsan, 712‒749, South Korea


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In addition to its role in digestion of food in the gastrointestinal tract, the intestinal microflora is also capable of biotransforming numerous drugs. Likewise, the intestinal microflora may significantly modulate xenobiotic-induced toxicity by either activating or inactivating xenobiotics via metabolism. To date, most investigations of xenobiotic metabolism have focused not only on metabolism in host tissues, but the modulation of the pharmacological activity of drugs by the intestinal microflora. Despite its importance, the presumed role of intestinal microflora metabolism in xenobiotic-induced toxicity has been understudied. Therefore, it is appropriate to briefly review our current situation, and state which research in xenobiotic metabolism by intestinal microflora, particularly in the field of toxicology, is needed.