We found that N-acetylation polymorphism can be evaluated from the disposition kinetics of sulfapyridine (SP) and 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) and their acetylated metabolites generated by N-acetyltransferase (NAT2) after oral administration of salicylazosulfapyridine (SASP). In 126 Japanese subjects, the homozygote of NAT2*4 was the most frequent (40%), followed by heterozygotes of NAT2*4 and mutant genes (28% NAT2*4/*6A, 15% NAT2*4/*7B, and 2% NAT2*4/*5B). Combinations of mutant genes accounted for 16%. When the relationship between the molar ratio of N-acetyl-SP (Ac-SP)/SP or N-acetyl-5-ASA(Ac-5-ASA)/5-ASA in serum and five genotypes of polymorphic NAT2* was examined in patients who received multiple doses of SASP, the molar ratios of Ac-SP/SP, rather than Ac-5-ASA/5-ASA tended to decrease according to the classification of genotype. We calculated the pharmacokinetic parameters in healthy subjects with various genotypes of polymorphic NAT2* after a single p.o. administration of SASP, according to a model of the SP metabolic pathways. The molar ratios of Ac-SP/SP in serum and urine were simulated using these parameters, and the molar ratio of Ac-SP/SP in urine at 4 days after the first administration could be categorized into ranges that were specific to various NAT2* genotypes. Thus, we were able to predict the N-acetylation polymorphic genotypes of patients by measuring the molar ratio of Ac-SP/SP in urine, after administration of SASP.
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