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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Association between DRD2, 5-HTTLPR, and ALDH2 genes and specific personality traits in alcohol- and opiate-dependent patients


The vulnerability of developing addictions is associated with genetic factors and personality traits. The predisposing genetic variants and personality traits may be common to all addictions or specific to a particular class of addiction.

To investigate the relationship between genetic variances, personality traits, and their interactions in addiction are important. We recruited 175 opiate-dependent patients, 102 alcohol-dependent patients, and 111 healthy controls. All participants were diagnosed using DSM-IV criteria and assessed with Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ). The dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2), 5-HTT-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR), and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) genes were genotyped using PCR.

The genotype frequency of the 5-HTTLPR and ALDH2 was significantly different between the patients and controls (P = 0.013, P < 0.001, respectively), and borderline significant (P = 0.05) for DRD2 polymorphism. Both Novelty Seeking (NS) and Harm Avoidance (HA) scores were higher for patients (P < 0.001).

After stratification by candidate genes, addicts with ALDH2 *1/*1 interacting with the low-functional group of DRD2 and 5-HTTLPR genes have higher HA traits, whereas addicts with ALDH2 *1/*2 or *2/*2 and low-functional group of DRD2 and 5-HTTLPR genes have higher NS traits.

We concluded that addicts, both alcohol- and opiate-dependent patients, have common genetic variants in DRD2 and 5-HTTLPR but specific for ALDH2. Higher NS and HA traits were found in both patient groups with the interaction with DRD2, 5-HTTLPR, and ALDH2 genes.

The ALDH2 gene variants had different effect in the NS and HA dimension while the DRD2 and 5-HTTLPR genes did not.

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