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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Interaction between Serotonin Transporter and Serotonin Receptor 1 B genes polymorphisms may be associated with antisocial alcoholism

Several studies have hypothesized that genes regulating the components of the serotonin system, including serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) and serotonin 1 B receptor (5-HT1B), may be associated with alcoholism, but their results are contradictory because of alcoholism's heterogeneity. Therefore, we examined whether the 5-HTTLPR gene and 5-HT1B gene G861C polymorphism are susceptibility factors for a specific subtype of alcoholism, antisocial alcoholism in Han Chinese in Taiwan.

We recruited 273 Han Chinese male inmates with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) [antisocial alcoholism (AS-ALC) group (n = 120) and antisocial non-alcoholism (AS-N-ALC) group (n = 153)] and 191 healthy male controls from the community. Genotyping was done using PCR-RFLP.

There were no significant differences in the genotypic frequency of the 5-HT1B G861C polymorphism between the 3 groups. Although AS-ALC group members more frequently carried the 5-HTTLPR S/S, S/LG, and LG/LG genotypes than controls, the difference became non-significant after controlling for the covarying effects of age. However, the 5-HTTLPR S/S, S/LG, and LG/LG genotypes may have interacted with the 5-HT1B G861C C/C polymorphism and increased the risk of becoming antisocial alcoholism.

Our study suggests that neither the 5-HTTLPR gene nor the 5-HT1B G861C polymorphism alone is a risk factor for antisocial alcoholism in Taiwan's Han Chinese population, but that the interaction between both genes may increase susceptibility to antisocial alcoholism.

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