Metabolic Interactions Among Environmental Chemicals and Drugs

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Science  10 Nov 1972:
Vol. 178, Issue 4061, pp. 576-586
DOI: 10.1126/science.178.4061.576


It is evident that metabolic interactions can occur among drugs, insecticides, food additives, carcinogenic hydrocarbons, and a variety of environmental chemicals. A common denominator governing these effects is the versatile nature of the liver microsomal enzymes that metabolize chemicals with diverse structures and biological activities, and the fact that these enzymes can be stimulated or inhibited by other chemicals administered simultaneously. The discovery of these particular enzymes in the 1950's laid the groundwork for the current research on metabolic interactions. Such research provides information that is helpful in the evaluation of the safety and efficacy of drugs and environmental chemicals, and suggests new directions for further research. Some examples are as follows.