Objectives The effects of myricetin, a natural flavonoid, on the pharmacokinetics of losartan and its active metabolite, EXP-3174, were investigated in rats. Losartan and myricetin interact with cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes and P-glycoprotein, and the increase in the use of health supplements may result in myricetin being taken concomitantly with losartan as a combination therapy to treat or prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Methods The pharmacokinetic parameters of losartan and EXP-3174 were determined after oral administration of losartan (9 mg/kg) to rats in the presence or absence of myricetin (0.4, 2 and 8 mg/kg). The effects of myricetin on P-glycoprotein as well as CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 activity were also evaluated.
Key findings Myricetin inhibited CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 enzyme activity with a 50% inhibition concentration of 7.8 and 13.5 µm, respectively. In addition, myricetin significantly enhanced the cellular accumulation of rhodamine 123 in MCF-7/ADR cells overexpressing P-glycoprotein in a concentration-dependent manner. The pharmacokinetic parameters of losartan were significantly altered by myricetin compared with the control. The presence of myricetin (2 or 8 mg/kg) increased the area under the plasma concentration–time curve of losartan by 31.4–61.1% and peak plasma concentration of losartan by 31.8–50.2%. Consequently, the absolute bioavailability of losartan in the presence of myricetin increased significantly (P < 0.05, 2 mg/kg; P < 0.01, 8 mg/kg) compared with the control. There was no significant change in the time to reach the peak plasma concentration, apparent volume of distribution at steady state or terminal half-life of losartan in the presence of myricetin. Furthermore, concurrent use of myricetin (8 mg/kg) significantly decreased the metabolite–parent area under the plasma concentration–time curve ratio by 20%, implying that myricetin may inhibit the CYP-mediated metabolism of losartan to its active metabolite, EXP-3174.
Conclusions The enhanced bioavailability of losartan may be mainly due to inhibition of the CYP3A4- and CYP2C9-mediated metabolism of losartan in the small intestine or in the liver, and the P-glycoprotein efflux pump in the small intestine by myricetin.