Allelic association analysis of the dopamine D2, D3, 5-HT2A, and GABAAγ2 receptors and serotonin transporter genes with heroin abuse in Chinese subjects

Tao Li, Xiehe Liu, Jinghua Zhao, Xun Hu, David M. Ball, El Wui Loh, Pak C. Sham, David A. Collier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Five candidate genes, the receptors DRD2, DRD3, HTR2A and GABAAγ/2, and the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) were analyzed for association with heroin abuse. We examined three polymorphisms (promoter - 141ΔC, Ser311Cys, and TaqI) in the DRD2 gene, one polymorphism (Ser9Gly) in the DRD3 gene, two polymorphisms (promoter - 1438G/A and T102C) in the HTR2A gene, two polymorphisms (VNTR and Del/Ins) in 5-HTT gene, and one polymorphism (G3145A) in GABAAγ2 gene in 121 Chinese heroin addicts and 194 controls. None of the polymorphisms differed significantly for allele, genotype, or haplotype frequencies, except for the DRD2 promoter polymorphism - 141ΔC (genotype-wise and allele-wise, P = 0.05, uncorrected). An additional 344 subjects with heroin abuse and 104 controls were investigated for the - 141ΔC polymorphism. In the second sample, there were no significant difference of genotype or allele frequencies between subjects with heroin abuse and normal controls. When we divided the sample by route of administration into nasal inhalers and IM or IV injectors, however, it produced a significant difference between inhalers of heroin and controls (genotype-wise, P = 0.006, allele-wise, P = 0.016) but not for injectors of heroin (genotype-wise, P = 0.81, allele-wise, P = 0.69). We also found that LD between all polymorphisms we examined in the gene was weak, possibly explaining why we see association of this polymorphism with heroin abuse but not with other markers in the gene. Overall our results indicates that the HTR2A, 5-HTT, DRD3 and GABAAγ2 genes are not likely to be a major genetic risk factor for heroin abuse in this population, with the exception of possible association between nasal inhalation and DRD2 promoter - 141ΔC polymorphism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-335
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 8 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Drug abuse
  • Neurotransmitter
  • Opiates
  • Opioids
  • Susceptibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Allelic association analysis of the dopamine D2, D3, 5-HT<sub>2A</sub>, and GABA<sub>A</sub>γ2 receptors and serotonin transporter genes with heroin abuse in Chinese subjects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this