Interethnic differences in genetic polymorphism of debrisoquin and mephenytoin hydroxylation between Japanese and Caucasian populations

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1985 Oct;38(4):402-8. doi: 10.1038/clpt.1985.194.


Interethnic differences in debrisoquin and mephenytoin hydroxylation have been compared between normal white (n = 183) and Japanese (n = 100) subjects with the 8-hour urinary metabolic ratio of debrisoquin and the urinary S/R enantiomeric ratio of mephenytoin to identify extensive (EM) and poor (PM) metabolizers. In white subjects the frequency of PMs was 8.7% and 2.7% for debrisoquin and mephenytoin, respectively. In contrast, in Japanese subjects no PMs of debrisoquin were identified, while the incidence of PMs of mephenytoin was 18%. These substantial differences (P less than 0.001) in polymorphic distributions of oxidative drug metabolizing ability have implications for interethnic efficacy and toxicity of drugs and other xenobiotics that are metabolized by the involved cytochrome P-450 isozymes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Debrisoquin / analogs & derivatives
  • Debrisoquin / metabolism*
  • Debrisoquin / urine
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Hydantoins / metabolism*
  • Hydroxylation
  • Isoquinolines / metabolism*
  • Japan / ethnology
  • Male
  • Mephenytoin / metabolism*
  • Mephenytoin / urine
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Random Allocation
  • White People


  • Hydantoins
  • Isoquinolines
  • 4-hydroxydebrisoquin
  • Mephenytoin
  • Debrisoquin