CYP3A activity in European American and Japanese men using midazolam as an in vivo probe

Tomonori Tateishi, Minoru Watanabe, Hironori Nakura, Masako Asoh, Hiroaki Shirai, Yoshihiro Mizorogi, Shinichi Kobayashi, Kenneth E. Thummel, Grant R. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate putative differences in CYP3A activity between European American and Japanese subjects using midazolam as an in vivo probe. Methods: Midazolam was administered orally (2 mg) to 22 young healthy Japanese men and, on a separate occasion, to 19 of these by the intravenous route (1 mg). The disposition of the drug and its 1′-hydroxy metabolite were determined and compared with data collected in a similar fashion in 20 young healthy European American men. Results: Plasma concentrations of midazolam, especially those attained soon after drug administration, were higher after intravenous injection in Japanese subjects than those in European American men. This observation was associated with smaller initial (2.5-fold) and steady-state (1.8-fold) volumes of distribution for the drug; normalization for body weight only modestly reduced these differences. The systemic clearance value of midazolam was 25% lower (P < .03) in Japanese subjects, but this difference was not apparent after accounting for the smaller body weights of that group. No statistical differences were noted in the elimination half-life (t1/2) of midazolam between European American and Japanese subjects. Much greater interindividual variability was observed after oral administration compared with intravenous administration, but significant differences were not found between the 2 groups with respect to the maximum midazolam plasma level or its oral clearance. Absolute oral bioavailability and its associated gastrointestinal and hepatic extraction ratios also showed no statistically significant interracial differences. Conclusions: On average, hepatic CYP3A, as measured by the metabolism of midazolam, is lower in young healthy Japanese men compared with similar European Americans. However, there is considerable interindividual variability, and body size appears to be an important determinant. After oral administration, even greater variability in the plasma level-time profile of midazolam is present, and no statistically significant or clinically important interracial/ethnic difference is present. Possibly because of smaller body mass and differences in body composition, midazolam has a smaller distribution volume(s) in Japanese men than in European American men that might be an important factor when drugs are administered intravenously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-339
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'CYP3A activity in European American and Japanese men using midazolam as an in vivo probe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this