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Pharmacogenetics of ecstasy: CYP1A2, CYP2C19, and CYP2B6 polymorphisms moderate pharmacokinetics of MDMA in healthy subjects

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Abstract

In vitro studies showed that CYP2C19, CYP2B6, and CYP1A2 contribute to the metabolism of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) to 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA). However, the role of genetic polymorphisms in CYP2C19, CYP2B6, and CYP1A2 in the metabolism of MDMA in humans is unknown. The effects of genetic variants in these CYP enzymes on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of MDMA were characterized in 139 healthy subjects (69 male, 70 female) in a pooled analysis of eight double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. MDMA-MDA conversion was positively associated with genotypes known to convey higher CYP2C19 or CYP2B6 activities. Additionally, CYP2C19 poor metabolizers showed greater cardiovascular responses to MDMA compared with other CYP2C19 genotypes. Furthermore, the maximum concentration of MDA was higher in tobacco smokers that harbored the inducible CYP1A2 rs762551 A/A genotype compared with the non-inducible C-allele carriers. The findings indicate that CYP2C19, CYP2B6, and CYP1A2 contribute to the metabolism of MDMA to MDA in humans. Additionally, genetic polymorphisms in CYP2C19 may moderate the cardiovascular toxicity of MDMA.

Vizeli, P., Schmid, Y., Prestin, K., zu Schwabedissen, H. E. M., & Liechti, M. E. (2017). Pharmacogenetics of ecstasy: CYP1A2, CYP2C19, and CYP2B6 polymorphisms moderate pharmacokinetics of MDMA in healthy subjects. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 27(3), 232-238. 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2017.01.008
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