1. The pretreatment of rat liver microsomes with phospholipase C or D decreased the N-demethylation of (+)-benzphetamine. The hydroxylation of aniline was essentially unchanged by pretreatment of microsomes with phospholipase C. 2. Some components of the microsomal mixed-function oxidase system were impaired by phospholipases. 3. The fluorescence of 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulphonate (ANS) was greatly enhanced by microsomes. Phospholipase C or D markedly decreased ANS–microsome fluorescence. Quantum yield of ANS–microsome fluorescence appeared to be related directly to phospholipid content of microsomes. 4. Most of the drugs studied enhanced ANS–microsome fluorescence. Warfarin, however, displaced ANS fluorescence competitively from microsomes. The latter effect was postulated as being due to warfarin competing with ANS for the cationic site on microsomal phosphatidylcholine. 5. ANS fluorescence was also increased by the presence of phospholipid micelles. The fluorescence of ANS–phosphatidylcholine micelles was modified by warfarin and (+)-benzphetamine in a manner similar to that observed with microsomes. Warfarin decrease of fluorescence was absent when ANS was bound to phosphatidic acid, which lacks a cationic site. 6. Trypsin pretreatment of microsomes did not modify ANS–microsome fluorescence, including drug-induced changes. 7. It was postulated that phospholipids have a permissive role in the metabolism of most drugs by hepatic microsomes and that the ANS probe might reflect interactions of compounds with microsomal membrane phospholipids.

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