Digoxin "receptors" in neonates: an explanation of less sensitivity to digoxin than in adults

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1980 Sep;28(3):346-9. doi: 10.1038/clpt.1980.172.


To investigate the possibility of altered digoxin receptor binding properties in neonates, we compared digoxin binding with erythrocytes from neonates and adults. Neonatal erythrocytes had two and a half times as many digoxin binding sites as adult erythrocytes. The neonatal "receptors" also had dissociation constants for digoxin that were twice the adult value. These findings suggest that differences in binding properties may explain the clinical observation of decreased sensitivity to digoxin in neonates and infants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging
  • Digoxin / metabolism*
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Male
  • Receptors, Drug / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Drug
  • Digoxin