Generation of free radicals during the reductive metabolism of nilutamide by lung microsomes: possible role in the development of lung lesions in patients treated with this anti-androgen.


Berger, V; Berson, A; Wolf, C; Chachaty, C; Fau, D; Fromenty, B; Pessayre, D

Publication Year 1992
Journal Biochemical Pharmacology
Pages 654-657
Volume 43
Issue 3
PMID 1311586.0
DOI 10.1016/0006-2952(92)90593-8

The pulmonary metabolism of nilutamide, a nitroaromatic anti-androgen drug leading to pulmonary lesions in a few recipients, has been investigated in rats. Incubation of nilutamide (1 mM) with rat lung microsomes and NADPH under anaerobic conditions led to the formation of the nitro anion free radical, as indicated by ESR spectroscopy. The steady state concentration of this radical was not decreased by CO or SKF 525-A (two inhibitors of cytochrome P450), but was decreased by NADP+ (10 mM) or p-chloromercuribenzoate (0.47 mM) (two inhibitors of NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase activity). Anaerobic incubations of [3H]nilutamide (0.1 mM) with rat lung microsomes and a NADPH-generating system resulted in the in vivo covalent binding of [3H]nilutamide metabolites to microsomal proteins; covalent binding required NADPH; it was decreased in the presence of NADP+ (10 mM), or in the presence of the nucleophile glutathione (10 mM), but was unchanged in the presence of carbon monoxide. Under aerobic conditions, in contrast, the nitro anion free radical was reoxidized by oxygen, and its ESR signal was not detected. Covalent binding was essentially suppressed. Instead, there was consumption of NADPH and oxygen, and production of superoxide anion and hydogen peroxide. We conclude that nilutamide is reduced by rat lung microsomes NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase into a nitro anion free radical. In anaerobiosis, the radical is reduced further to covalent binding species. In the presence of oxygen, in contrast, this nitro anion free radical undergoes redox cycling, with the generation of reactive oxygen species.