Indirect activation of pregnane X receptor in the induction of hepatic CYP3A11 by high-dose rifampicin in mice

<p>Rifampicin (RIF), a typical ligand of human pregnane X receptor (PXR), powerfully induces the expression of cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) in humans. Although it is thought that RIF is not a ligand of rodent PXR, treatment with high-dose RIF (e.g. more than 20 mg/kg) increases the expression of CYP3A in the mouse liver. In this study, we investigated whether the induction of CYP3A by high-dose RIF in the mouse liver is mediated <i>via</i> indirect activation of mouse PXR (mPXR). The results showed that high-dose RIF increased the expression of CYP3A11 and other PXR-target genes in the liver of wild-type mice but not PXR-knockout mice. However, the results of reporter gene and ligand-dependent assembly assays showed that RIF does not activate mPXR in a ligand-dependent manner. In addition, high-dose RIF stimulated nuclear accumulation of mPXR in the mouse liver, and geldanamycin and okadaic acid attenuated the induction of <i>Cyp3a11</i> and other PXR-target genes in primary hepatocytes, suggesting that high-dose RIF triggers nuclear translocation of mPXR. In conclusion, the present study suggests that high-dose RIF stimulates nuclear translocation of mPXR in the liver of mice by indirect activation, resulting in the transactivation of <i>Cyp3a11</i> and other PXR-target genes.</p>