Background: Food-drug interactions may lead to suppression or induction of drug metabolizing
enzymes. Pomegranate is a commonly used fruit in folk medicine all over the world. Data
concerning the effect of pomegranate on the activity of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) is
Objective: The purpose of this work was to investigate the effect of pomegranate juice ingestion on
the transcription of ugt2b1, ugt2a3, and ugt1a9 in the liver and small intestine of male mice.
Methods: Pomegranate juice was administered to 10 male mice for 14 days in drinking bottles instead
of water. Ten control mice received water in the drinking bottles. On the 15th day, the mice
were sacrificed and the liver and the small intestine were removed. The small intestine was divided
into 3 parts. Total mRNA was extracted from samples of these specimens, and cDNA was synthesized
by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using specific primers for
each ugt gene.
Results: The ugt1a9 mRNA level was reduced by 2.25-fold in the liver and by 6-, 1.5-, and 3-folds
in the first, second and third part of the small intestine, respectively. The ugt2b1 mRNA level in
the liver and the third part of the small intestine was not affected, while it was reduced by 3.7- and
3-folds in the first and second parts of the small intestine, respectively. The ugt2a3 mRNA level
was not affected in the liver and the 3 parts of the small intestine.
Conclusion: Some ugt mRNA levels may be reduced by the ingestion of pomegranate juice, which
may reduce the metabolism of their drug substrates. The consequences may be an accumulation of
such drugs in the body and enhanced toxicity.