Hepatotoxic effects of estradiol-17β-D-glucuronide in the rat and monkey

W. Slikker, M. Vore, J. R. Bailey, M. Meyers, C. Montgomery

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28 Scopus citations


The steroid D-ring glucuronide conjugate estradiol-17β-D-glucuronide (E 217G) but not the A-ring conjugate E 23-glucuronide (E 23G) has been shown to inhibit bile flow in the rat. To determine if primates are also sensitive to E 217G-induced cholestasis, a noninvasive approach with the use of indocyanine green (ICG), a dye eliminated primarily by biliary excretion, was first validated in the rat then applied to the rhesus monkey. ICG (16 mg/kg rat; 4 mg/kg monkey) was administered i.v. 10 min after an i.v. bolus dose of either E 217G (5.5 or 11 μmol/kg), E 23G (11 μmol/kg) or vehicle alone. In the rat, the elimination T( 1/2 ) of ICG was increased by the 11 μmol/kg dose of E 217G (P < .025), whereas E 23G produced no significant change from vehicle control values. In the monkey, the 5.5 and 11 μmol/kg doses of E 217G increased the T( 1/2 ) of ICG in a dose-related manner (P < .005), whereas E 23G was without effect. Plasma levels of total radioactivity demonstrated dose-dependent kinetics after the administration of a tracer dose and 11 μmol/kg of [ 3H]E 217G. A rebound of plasma radioactivity was seen at 11 μmol/kg of [ 3H]E 217G, the time course of which mimicked the time course of E 217G-induced cholestasis. High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of rat bile and plasma after the administration of [ 3H]E 217G revealed primarily E 217G and estradiol-3-sulfate-17β-D-glucuronide together with small amounts of three unidentified metabolites. In the monkey, only E 217G and estradiol-3-sulfate-17β-D-glucuronide were observed in the plasma after the administration of [ 3H]E 217G. In contrast to E 217G, estradiol-3-sulfate-17β-D-glucuronide was choleretic in the bile duct-cannulated rat model. These data indicate that E 217G is hepatotoxic in both rodents and nonhuman primates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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