The Effect of Piperine Pro-Nano Lipospheres on Direct Intestinal Phase II Metabolism: The Raloxifene Paradigm of Enhanced Oral Bioavailability

Dvora Izgelov, Irina Cherniakov, Gefen Aldouby Bier, Abraham J. Domb, Amnon Hoffman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Phase II biotransformation reactions have been gaining more attention due to their acknowledged significance in drug bioavailability, drug development, and drug-drug interactions. However, the predominant role of phase I metabolism has always overshadowed phase II metabolism, resulting in insufficient data regarding its mechanisms. In this paper, we investigate the effect of an advanced lipid based formulation on the phase II metabolism process of glucuronidation, occuring in the enterocytes monolayer. The investigated formulation is a self-emulsifying drug delivery system, termed pro-nano lipospheres, which contains the natural absorption enhancer piperine. To evaluate the effect of this formulation on direct glucuronidation we chose the model molecule raloxifene. First, glucuronidation is the main clearance pathway of this compound without involvement of preceding mechanisms. Second, raloxifene's extensive glucuronidation site is primarily at the intestine. Raloxifene's oral bioavailability was determined in a series of pharmacokinetic experiments using the freely moving rat model. In order to test the effect of the formulation on the relevant UGT enzymes reported in the clinic, we used the in vitro method of UGT-Glo Assay. Coadministration of raloxifene and piperine pro-nano lipospheres to rats resulted in a 2-fold increase in the relative oral bioavailability of raloxifene. However, coadministration of raloxifene with blank pro-nano lipospheres had no effect on its oral bioavailability. In contrast to the difference found in vivo between the two vehicles, both formulations extended an inhibitory effect on UGT enzymes in vitro. Ultimately, these findings prove the ability of the formulation to diminish intestinal direct phase II metabolism which serves as an absorption obstacle for many of today's marketed drugs. Pro-nano lipospheres is a formulation that serves as a platform for the simultaneous delivery of the absorption enhancer and a required drug. The discrepancy found between the in vivo and in vitro models demonstrates that the in vitro method may not be sensitive enough to distinguish the difference between the formulations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1548-1555
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Chemical Society.


  • absorption
  • direct phase II metabolism
  • enterocytes
  • glucuronidation
  • piperine
  • raloxifene


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