Sepsis is an infection-induced systemic inflammatory syndrome. The immune response in sepsis is characterized by the activation of both proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory pathways. When sepsis occurs, the expression and activity of many inflammatory cytokines are markedly affected. Xenobiotic receptors are chemical-sensing transcription factors that play essential roles in the transcriptional regulation of drug-metabolizing enzymes (DMEs). Xenobiotic receptors mediate the functional crosstalk between sepsis and drug metabolism because the inflammatory cytokines released during sepsis can affect the expression and activity of xenobiotic receptors and thus impact the expression and activity of DMEs. Xenobiotic receptors in turn may affect the clinical outcomes of sepsis. This review focuses on the sepsis-induced inflammatory response and xenobiotic receptors such as pregnane X receptor (PXR), aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), DMEs such as CYP1A, CYP2B6, CYP2C9, and CYP3A4, and drug transporters such as p-glycoprotein (P-gp), and multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRPs) that are affected by sepsis. Understanding the xenobiotic receptor-mediated effect of sepsis on drug metabolism will help to improve the safe use of drugs in sepsis patients and the development of new xenobiotic receptor-based therapeutic strategies for sepsis.© 2019 Chinese Pharmaceutical Association and Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.
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