Effects of MicroRNA-34a on the Pharmacokinetics of Cytochrome P450 Probe Drugs in Mice

Joseph L. Jilek, Ye Tian, Ai Ming Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


MicroRNAs (miRNAs or miRs), including miR-34a, have been shown to regulate nuclear receptor, drug-metabolizing enzyme, and transporter gene expression in various cell model systems. However, to what degree miRNAs affect pharmacokinetics (PK) at the systemic level remains unknown. In addition, miR-34a replacement therapy represents a new cancer treatment strategy, although it is unknown whether miR-34a therapeutic agents could elicit any drug-drug interactions. To address this question, we refined a practical single-mouse PK approach and investigated the effects of a bioengineered miR-34a agent on the PK of several cytochrome P450 probe drugs (midazolam, dextromethorphan, phenacetin, diclofenac, and chlorzoxazone) administered as a cocktail. This approach involves manual serial blood microsampling from a single mouse and requires a sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay, which was able to illustrate the sharp changes in midazolam PK by ketoconazole and pregnenolone 16α-carbonitrile as well as phenacetin PK by α-naphthoflavone and 3-methylcholanthrene. Surprisingly, 3-methylcholanthrene also decreased systemic exposure to midazolam, whereas both pregnenolone 16α-carbonitrile and 3-methylcholanthrene largely reduced the exposure to dextromethorphan, diclofenac, and chlorzoxazone. Finally, the biologic miR-34a agent had no significant effects on the PK of cocktail drugs but caused a marginal (45%-48%) increase in systemic exposure to midazolam, phenacetin, and dextromethorphan in mice. In vitro validation of these data suggested that miR-34a slightly attenuated intrinsic clearance of dextromethorphan. These findings from single-mouse PK and corresponding mouse liver microsome models suggest that miR-34a might have minor or no effects on the PK of coadministered cytochrome P450-metabolized drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-522
Number of pages11
JournalDrug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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