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Effects of Dietary Flavonoids on the Metabolism of Vortioxetine and its Potential Mechanism


Yuxian Lin, Yu Wang, Zhize Ye, Nanyong Gao, Xinhao Xu, Qinghua Weng, Ren-ai Xu* and Lei Ye*   Pages 1 - 7 ( 7 )


Introduction: Quercetin and apigenin are two common dietary flavonoids widely found in foods and fruits. Quercetin and apigenin can act as the inhibitors of CYP450 enzymes, which may affect the pharmacokinetics of clinical drugs. Vortioxetine (VOR), approved for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013, is a novel clinical drug for treating major depressive disorder (MDD).

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of quercetin and apigenin on the metabolism of VOR in in vivo and in vitro experiments.

Methods: Firstly, 18 Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups: control group (VOR), group A (VOR + 30 mg/kg quercetin) and group B (VOR + 20 mg/kg apigenin). We collected the blood samples at different time points before and after the final oral administration of 2 mg/kg VOR. Subsequently, we further used rat liver microsomes (RLMs) to investigate the halfmaximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of the metabolism of vortioxetine. Finally, we evaluated the inhibitory mechanism of two dietary flavonoids on VOR metabolism in RLMs.

Results: In animal experiments, we found AUC (0-∞) (area under the curve from 0 to infinity) and CLz/F (clearance) to be obviously changed. Compared to controls, AUC (0-∞) of VOR in group A and group B was 2.22 and 3.54 times higher, respectively, while CLz/F of VOR in group A and group B was significantly decreased down to nearly two-fifth and one-third. In in vitro studies, the IC50 value of quercetin and apigenin in the metabolic rate of vortioxetine was 5.323 μM and 3.319 μM, respectively. Ki value of quercetin and apigenin was found to be 0.040 and 3.286, respectively, and the αKi value of quercetin and apigenin was 0.170 and 2.876 μM, respectively.

Conclusion: Quercetin and apigenin exhibited inhibitory effects on the metabolism of vortioxetine in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, quercetin and apigenin non-competitively inhibited the metabolism of VOR in RLMs. Thus, we should pay more attention to the combination between these dietary flavonoids and VOR in the future clinical use.


Quercetin, apigenin, vortioxetine, metabolism, rats, pharmacokinetics.


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