Phase I-metabolism studies of the synthetic cannabinoids PX-1 and PX-2 using three different in vitro models

Patrick Dahm, Andreas Thomas, Markus A Rothschild, Mario Thevis, Katja Mercer-Chalmers-Bender

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


PURPOSE: Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs), highly metabolized substances, are rarely found unmodified in urine samples. Urine screening relies on SC metabolite detection, requiring metabolism knowledge. Metabolism data can be acquired via in vitro assays, e.g., human hepatocytes, pooled human liver microsomes (pHLM), cytochrome P450 isoforms and a fungal model; or in vivo by screening, e.g., authentic human samples or rat urine. This work describes the comprehensive study of PX-1 and PX-2 in vitro metabolism using three in vitro models. 5F-APP-PICA (PX-1) and 5F-APP-PINACA (PX-2) were studied as they share structural similarity with AM-2201, THJ-2201 and 5F-AB-PINACA, the metabolism of which was described in the literature.

METHODS: For SC incubation, pHLM, cytochrome P450 isoenzymes and the fungal model Cunninghamella elegans LENDNER (C. elegans) were used. PX-1 and PX-2 in vitro metabolites were revealed comprehensively by liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry measurements.

RESULTS: In total, 30 metabolites for PX 1 and 15 for PX-2 were detected. The main metabolites for PX-1 and PX-2 were the amide hydrolyzed metabolites, along with an indole monohydroxylated (for PX-1) and a defluorinated pentyl-monohydroxylated metabolite (for PX-2).

CONCLUSIONS: CYP isoforms along with fungal incubation results were in good agreement to those obtained with pHLM incubation. CYP2E1 was responsible for many of the metabolic pathways; particularly for PX-1. This study shows that all three in vitro assays are suitable for predicting metabolic pathways of synthetic cannabinoids. To establish completeness of the PX-1 and PX-2 metabolic pathways, it is not only recommended but also necessary to use different assays.

ZeitschriftForensic toxicology
Seiten (von - bis)244-262
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 07.2022


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