J Korean Soc Biol Psychiatry.  2003 Nov;10(2):159-167.

Association of Serotonin Transporter Gene Polymorphism with Alcohol Dependence

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hallym University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Biochemistry and Molecular biology, Hanyang University, Ansan, Korea.
  • 3Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Seoul Baikjae Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


Under the hypothesis that 5-HTTLPR polymorphism plays some role in the susceptibility or vulnerability of some subgroup of alcohol dependence, associations of 5-HTTLPR polymorphism with alcohol dependence were examined. METHOD: This association analysis included 109 Korean alcohol dependent and 113 Korean control subjects. DNA of all subjects were genotyped for the biallelic functional polymorphism in the 5-HTTLPR. Considering the likelihood of heterogeneity in the alcohol dependence phenotype, alcohol dependent subjects were subgrouped by onset age, family history of alcohol dependence and severity of withdrawal symptoms.
There were no significant differences in the frequencies of either the 5-HTTLPR genotype or the short vs. long allele in alcohol dependent and control subjects. The frequency of the S allele and S-carrier (LS or SS genotype) was significantly increased in the early onset alcohol dependent subjects and the familial alcohol dependent subjects compared with that in the control subjects.
The results suggest that the 5-HTT 'S' promoter polymorphism is associated with an increased susceptibility or vulnerability to develop early onset alcohol dependence and familial alcohol dependence, which characterize Cloninger's type 2 alcohol dependence.

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