A family study of genetic and environmental factors determining polymorphic hydroxylation of debrisoquin

Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
E SteinerF Sjöqvist


Debrisoquin hydroxylation capacity determined as the ratio of debrisoquin to 4-OH-debrisoquin (DMR) in urine after a single oral dose (10 mg) was studied in 52 nuclear families comprising 226 subjects. The relative importance of genetic and environmental factors for DMR was studied by path analysis. There was a significant negative correlation between DMR and coffee intake but no significant correlations between DMR and sex, age, alcohol intake, or smoking habits. Path analysis showed that genetic heritability was 0.79 while cultural heritability was only 0.06. Complex segregation analysis gave evidence for a major locus with incomplete dominance (d = 0.28) between a recessive and an additive gene. The frequency of the major gene was 0.31, allowing an estimate of the frequency of slow hydroxylators in the Swedish population of 9.4%. There was also evidence for a multifactorial component accounting for 14% of the total variation. It was not possible to distinguish between the different genotypes within the rapid hydroxylator phenotype. Our data agree with previous studies in British and German populations showing that two alleles at a major autosomal locus can explain most of the observed variation in DMR. The frequency of slow ...Continue Reading


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