Authors: Lesley K. Rao, M.D. et al
Anesthesiology published on October 23, 2016.
Background: At therapeutic concentrations, cytochrome P4502B6 (CYP2B6) is the major P450 isoform catalyzing hepatic ketamine N-demethylation to norketamine in vitro. The CYP2B6 gene is highly polymorphic. The most common variant allele, CYP2B6*6, is associated with diminished hepatic CYP2B6 expression and catalytic activity compared with wild-type CYP2B6*1/*1. CYP2B6.6, the protein encoded by the CYP2B6*6 allele, and liver microsomes from CYP2B6*6 carriers had diminished ketamine metabolism in vitro. This investigation tested whether humans with the CYP2B6*6 allele would have decreased clinical ketamine metabolism and clearance.
Methods: Thirty volunteers with CYP2B6*1/*1, *1/*6, or *6/*6genotypes (n = 10 each) received a subsedating dose of oral ketamine. Plasma and urine concentrations of ketamine and the major CYP2B6-dependent metabolites were determined by mass spectrometry. Subjects’ self-assessment of ketamine effects were also recorded. The primary outcome was ketamine N-demethylation, measured as the plasma norketamine/ketamine area under the curve ratio. Secondary outcomes included plasma ketamine enantiomer and metabolite area under the plasma concentration–time curve, maximum concentrations, apparent oral clearance, and metabolite formation clearances.
Results: There was no significant difference between CYP2B6genotypes in ketamine metabolism or any of the secondary outcome measures. Subjective self-assessment did reveal some differences in energy and level of awareness among subjects.
Conclusions: These results show that while the CYP2B6*6polymorphism results in diminished ketamine metabolism in vitro, this allelic variant did not affect single, low-dose ketamine metabolism, clearance, and pharmacokinetics in vivo. While in vitrodrug metabolism studies may be informative, clinical investigations in general are needed to validate in vitro observations.