Salvianolic acid B as a substrate and weak catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor in rats.
1. The aim of this study was to investigate the biotransformation of salvianolic acid B (SAB) by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and its interaction with levodopa (l-DOPA) methylation in rats. 2. The enzyme kinetics of SAB were studied after incubation with rat COMT. The in vivo SAB and 3-monomethyl-SAB (3-MMS) levels were determined after a single dose of tolcapone with or without SAB administration. For l-DOPA, the effect of SAB inhibition on l-DOPA methylation was studied in vitro. The l-DOPA and 3-O-methyldopa (3-OMD) levels were determined after single and multiple doses of SAB with or without l-DOPA administration. 3. After incubation, we found that SAB was methylated mainly by rat liver and kidney COMT. Tolcapone strongly inhibited the formation of 3-MMS in vitro and in vivo, without any change in the plasma concentration of SAB. Moreover, tolcapone significantly increased the cumulative bile excretion of SAB from 3% to 40% in the rat. SAB inhibited the methylation of l-DOPA with an IC50 value of 2.08 μM in vitro. In vivo, a single intravenous dose of SAB decreased the plasma concentration of 3-OMD, with no obvious effect on the pharmacokinetics of l-DOPA. Multiple doses of SAB given to rats also decreased the plasma concentration of 3-OMD, while SAB increased the plasma concentration of l-DOPA.