Journal of Chromatography vol:434 issue:1 pages:177-86
The metabolites of erythromycin A, anhydroerythromycin A, N-demethylerythromycin A and erythromycin B in the Wistar rat were studied by thin-layer chromatography. In some experiments germ-free rats, rats with a cannulated bile duct and a gastrectomized rat were used. The erythromycins examined were shown to undergo two principal changes, N-demethylation and acid-catalysed degradation. It was demonstrated that the stomach and the liver are not the sole sites of acid degradation and demethylation of erythromycins, respectively. Erythromycin A gives three principal metabolites, anhydroerythromycin A, anhydro-N-demethylerythromycin A and N-demethylerythromycin A, and erythromycin A enol ether and N-demethylerythromycin A enol ether are present to a minor extent. 5-O-Desosaminylerythronolide A was also identified, suggesting the presence of an erythromycin glycosidase.