The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism

Metabolism of 2-methoxyestrone in normal men.

PMID 6863476


We studied, in four normal men, the metabolism of 2-methoxyestrone (2-MeOE1) using pulse injections of either [3H]2MeOE1 (two men) or [14C]methoxy-2-MeOE1 plus [3H]2-MeOE1 (two men) by analysis of blood samples drawn at increasing time intervals after the pulse and of urine collected for 5 days. The disappearance from the blood of radioactivity as 2-MeOE1 could be characterized as a function that was the sum of three exponentials. The mean +/- SE value for the initial volume of distribution was 32 +/- 9 liters, and the mean MCR was 2470 +/- 770 liters/day. The disappearance of total 3H radioactivity from the blood was considerably slower, with a mean MCR of 290 +/- 30 liters/day, indicating the presence of a slowly turning over pool of 2-MeOE1 metabolites, probably including the 2-MeOE1 3-sulfate conjugate. The disappearance of total 14C radioactivity was slower than that of total 3H, indicating considerable demethylation of 2-MeOE1 with a very slow excretion of 14C from the released methyl group. In none of the subjects could we find in the blood radioactivity as unconjugated [3H]2-hydroxyestrone ( [3H]2-OHE1). However, examination of the urine indicated that considerable demethylation of [3H]2-MeOE1 had occurred. At least 64% of the urinary 3H-containing metabolites from the mixed dose had lost the 14C-bearing methoxylcarbon atom. The fractionated metabolites were qualitatively and quantitatively similar to those found earlier for [3H]2-OHE1. We conclude that 2-MeOE1, which of itself has little biological activity, can act as a pool of potentially active 2-OHE1 in the tissues.