Effects of OCT1 polymorphisms on the cellular uptake, plasma concentrations and efficacy of the 5-HT(3) antagonists tropisetron and ondansetron

Pharmacogenomics J. 2012 Feb;12(1):22-9. doi: 10.1038/tpj.2010.75. Epub 2010 Oct 5.


After uptake into liver cells, the antiemetic drugs tropisetron and ondansetron undergo metabolic inactivation by cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6). We investigated whether the hepatic organic cation transporter 1 (OCT1; SLC22A1) mediates cellular uptake and whether common OCT1 loss-of-function polymorphisms affect pharmacokinetics and efficacy of both drugs. Both tropisetron and ondansetron inhibited ASP(+) uptake in OCT1-overexpressing HEK293 cells. Overexpression of wild-type, but not OCT1 loss-of-function variants, significantly increased tropisetron uptake. Correspondingly, patients with two loss-of-function OCT1 alleles had higher tropisetron plasma concentrations (n=59, P<0.04) and higher clinical efficacy (n=91, P=0.009) compared with carriers of fully active OCT1. Overexpression of OCT1 did not increase ondansetron uptake. Nevertheless, OCT1 genotypes correlated with pharmacokinetics (n=45, P<0.05) and clinical efficacy (n=222, P<0.02) of ondansetron, the effect size of OCT1 genotypes on pharmacokinetics and efficacy was greater for tropisetron than for ondansetron. In conclusion, in addition to the known effects of CYP2D6, OCT1 deficiency may increase efficacy of tropisetron and potentially of ondansetron by limiting their hepatic uptake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antiemetics / blood
  • Antiemetics / pharmacology
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Female
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Indoles / blood
  • Indoles / pharmacology
  • Indoles / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ondansetron / blood
  • Ondansetron / pharmacology
  • Ondansetron / therapeutic use*
  • Organic Cation Transporter 1 / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists / blood
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tropisetron
  • Young Adult


  • Antiemetics
  • Indoles
  • Organic Cation Transporter 1
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists
  • Ondansetron
  • Tropisetron