The epoxide-diol pathway in the metabolism of vinylbital in rat and man

N P Vermeulen, B H Bakker, D Eylers, D D Breimer

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


1. In urine of rats given vinylbital (5-vinyl-5-(1'-methylbutyl)barbituric acid) i.p., unchanged vinylbital and its devinylated metabolite, 5-(1'-methylbutyl)barbituric acid, were identified. Rats synthetic 1',2'-epoxyvinylbital excreted the same compound as a major metabolite. No unchanged epoxide, nor 1',2'-dihydroxyvinylbital, could be identified in the urine of rats treated with vinylbital or its epoxide. 2. Attempts to synthesize 1',2'-dihydroxyvinylbital from 1',2'-epoxyvinylbital by acidic hydrolysis revealed that this possible metabolite decomposes readily to 5-(1'-methylbutyl)barbituric acid by a 'retro-aldol type' reaction. 3. In rat liver microsomal preparation 1',2'-epoxyvinylbital is readily hydrated by epoxide hydratase, but this reaction is almost completely inhibited by 0.8 mM 1,1,1-trichloropropene-2,3-oxide (TCPO). This finding and the identification of 5-(1'-methylbutyl)barbituric acid as end-product of this enzyme reaction provides further evidence for the existence of an epoxide-diol pathway in the metabolism of vinylbital. 4. Vinylbital and its devinylated metabolite are excreted in 36 h urine of rats treated with vinylbital, to an extent of 0.6 +/- 1.7% of the dose (n = 5), respectively. Upon administration of 1',2-epoxyvinylbital, 59.8 +/- 14.2% of the dose (n = 5) was excreted as 5-(1'-methylbutyl)barbituric acid. 5. In 60 h urine of three human volunteers who had taken 150 mg of vinylbital orally, 2.6 +/- 1.7% of the dose was excreted as vinylbitaland 11.0 +/- 4.1% as 5-(1'-methylbutyl) barbituric acid, illustrating that also in humans the epoxide-diol pathway plays a role in the metabolism of vinylbital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-68
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1980


  • Animals
  • Barbiturates
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Epoxide Hydrolases
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsomes, Liver
  • Rats
  • Vinyl Compounds
  • Journal Article


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