Simultaneous inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase and monoamine oxidase A: effects on hemodynamics and catecholamine metabolism in healthy volunteers.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of simultaneous pharmacologic inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and monoamine oxidase type A (MAO-A) on hemodynamics and catecholamine metabolism in healthy volunteers at rest and during exercise. BACKGROUND: Entacapone, a COMT inhibitor, is studied as an adjunct to levodopa treatment in patients with Parkinson's disease. Moclobemide, an MAO-A inhibitor, is already in clinical use as an antidepressant. It is likely that entacapone and moclobemide will be used concomitantly in the future in patients who have both Parkinson's disease and depression. It was therefore considered to be important to investigate the tolerability of combined COMT and MAO-A inhibition with entacapone and moclobemide. DESIGN AND METHODS: This was a randomized, single-dose, double-blind crossover study of 12 healthy male volunteers. The treatments were either placebo, 200 mg entacapone, 150 mg moclobemide, or the combination of entacapone and moclobemide in single doses. Heart rate, blood pressure, impedance cardiography, and plasma concentrations of catecholamines and their metabolites were measured both at rest and during submaximal standardized bicycle exercise. RESULTS: Entacapone and moclobemide (either alone or in combination) did not change heart rate, blood pressure, or any hemodynamic parameter at rest or during exercise compared with placebo. Neither were the concentrations of norepinephrine and epinephrine in plasma influenced. Both drugs had the expected effects on catecholamine metabolite concentrations in plasma. The decrease in the concentration of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) induced by moclobemide was not potentiated by entacapone. CONCLUSION: The combined use of therapeutic single doses of entacapone and moclobemide in healthy volunteers did not affect the hemodynamics or concentrations of unconjugated norepinephrine and epinephrine in plasma. Other mechanisms are capable of regulating the concentrations of norepinephrine and epinephrine in circulating blood (and apparently also at receptors in the heart and vascular tissue) when both COMT and MAO-A activity are inhibited to a significant extent. This was also the case during marked sympathetic stimulation. The changes in the catecholamine metabolite concentrations provide evidence of effective COMT and MAO inhibition. Concentrations of MHPG in plasma are determined mainly by MAO-A activity because COMT inhibition did not have an additional effect on the moclobemide-induced decrease in plasma MHPG.