Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa)
Metabolite profiling and identification of enzymes responsible for the metabolism of mitragynine, the major alkaloid of Mitragyna speciosa (kratom)
- Mitragynine is the major indole-based alkaloid of Mitragyna speciosa (kratom). Decoctions (teas) of the plant leaves have been used traditionally for cough, diarrhoea, pain, hypertension and for the treatment of opioid addiction. In the West, kratom has become increasingly utilized for mood elevation, pain treatment and as a means of self-treating opioid addiction.
- Metabolic pathways of mitragynine were identified in human liver microsomes (HLM) and S9 fractions. A total of thirteen metabolites were identified, four oxidative metabolites and a metabolite formed by demethylation at the 9-methoxy group were the major metabolites of mitragynine.
- The cytochrome P450 enzymes involved in the metabolism of mitragynine were identified using selective chemical inhibitors of HLM and recombinant cytochrome P450. The metabolism of mitragynine was predominantly carried out through the CYP3A4 with minor contributions by CYP2D6 and CYP2C9. The formation of five oxidative metabolites (Met2, Met4, Met6, Met8 and Met11) was catalyzed by the CYP3A4.
- In summary, mitragynine was extensively metabolized in HLM primarily to O-demethylated and monooxidative metabolites. The CYP3A4 enzyme plays a predominant role in the metabolic clearance of mitragynine and also in the formation of 7-hydroxymitragynine (Met2), a known active minor alkaloid identified in the leaf material.
In Vitro Enzyme Screen Experiment
Metabolism was detected.
- CYP3A4 4306811
Cell fraction Pooled human liver microsomes -7999662
% remaining was inferred from panel A of Fig 5 where the total contribution of each enzyme to MTG metabolism is shown. Note that other reactions besides 7-OH-MTG were also included in the total contribution of metabolism calculation.
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