Atorvastatin (ATV) is a blood cholesterol-lowering drug used to prevent cardiovascular events, the leading cause of death worldwide. As pharmacokinetics, metabolism and response vary among individuals, we wanted to determine the most reliable metabolic ATV phenotypes and identify novel and preponderant genetic markers that affect ATV plasma levels. A controlled, randomized, crossover, single-blind, three-treatment, three-period, and six-sequence clinical study of ATV (single 80-mg oral dose) was conducted among 60 healthy Mexican men. ATV plasma levels were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Genotyping was performed by real-time PCR with TaqMan probes. Four ATV metabolizer phenotypes were found: slow, intermediate, normal and fast. Six gene polymorphisms, SLCO1B1-rs4149056, ABCB1-rs1045642, CYP2D6-rs1135840, CYP2B6-rs3745274, NAT2-rs1208, and COMT- rs4680, had a significant effect on ATV pharmacokinetics (P < 0.05). The polymorphisms in SLCO1B1 and ABCB1 seemed to have a greater effect and were especially important for the shift from an intermediate to a normal metabolizer. This is the first study that demonstrates how the interaction of genetic variants affect metabolic phenotyping and improves understanding of how SLCO1B1 and ABCB1 variants that affect statin metabolism may partially explain the variability in drug response. Notwithstanding, the influence of other genetic and non-genetic factors is not ruled out.
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