BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Digoxin is a known substrate of ATP-binding cassette B1 (ABCB1/MDR1). The results of studies on the association between ABCB1 polymorphisms and digoxin kinetics, however, remain contradictory. Almost all studies were small and involved only single dose kinetics. The goal of this study was to establish ABCB1 genotype effect on digoxin blood concentrations in a large cohort of chronic digoxin users in a general Dutch European population. METHODS: Digoxin users were identified in the Rotterdam Study, a prospective population-based cohort study of individuals aged 55 years and above. Digoxin blood levels were gathered from regional hospitals and laboratories. ABCB1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) 1236C→T, 2677G→T/A, and 3435C→T were assessed on peripheral blood DNA using Taqman assays. We studied the association between the ABCB1 genotypes and haplotypes, and digoxin blood levels using linear regression models adjusting for potential confounders. RESULTS: Digoxin serum levels and DNA were available for 195 participants (56.4% women, mean age 79.4 years). All three ABCB1 variants were significantly associated with serum digoxin concentration (0.18-0.21 μg/l per additional T allele). The association was even stronger for the 1236-2677-3435 TTT haplotype allele [0.26 μg/l (95% CI 0.14-0.38)], but absent for other haplotypes (CGC allele considered referent), suggesting an interaction of SNPs in a causal haplotype instead of individual SNP effects. CONCLUSION: We found that the common ABCB1 1236C→T, 2677G→T, and 3435C→T variants and the associated TTT haplotype were associated with higher digoxin serum concentrations in a cohort of elderly European digoxin users in the general population.

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Keywords ATP-binding cassette B1, Digoxin, Haplotype, Multidrug resistance 1, Single nucleotide polymorphism
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Aarnoudse, A.J.L.H.J., Dieleman, J.P., Visser, L.E., Arp, P.P., van der Heiden, I.P., van Schaik, R.H.N., … Stricker, B.H.Ch.. (2008). Common ATP-binding cassette B1 variants are associated with increased digoxin serum concentration. Pharmacogenetics and Genomics, 18(4), 299–305. doi:10.1097/FPC.0b013e3282f70458