Association studies of dopamine D4 receptor gene exon 3 in patients with alcohol dependence
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Psychiatr Pol 2008;42(3):453-461
Aim. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) exon 3 polymorphisms (48 by VNTR) in the pathogenesis of alcoholism. This polymorphism was investigated in the association study in a whole group of alcoholics (n=122) and in homogenous overlapping subgroups: 1) with early age of onset of alcoholism (AOO <= 26 years) (n=65) and 2) with a co-occurrence of dissocial personality disorder (n=38), and 3) in patients with a history of delirium tremens and/or alcohol seizures (n=41). The control group consisted of healthy volunteers, gender and age matched, with excluded psychiatric disorders (n=399). Method. The history of alcoholism was investigated using SSAGA (Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism - Polish version). The DRD4 receptor exon 3 polymorphism was determined using PCR. Results. We found significant differences in the short alleles (2-5 VNTR) frequencies between controls and patients with a history of delirium tremens and/or alcohol seizures (p=0.043). A trend was also observed in the higher frequency of short alleles amongst individuals with an early age of onset of alcoholism (p=0.063). Conclusion. The results of this study suggest that inherited short variants of DRD4 alleles may play role in pathogenesis of alcohol dependence.
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