The neuronal nicotinic receptor genes (CHRN) have been implicated in a variety of smoking-related behaviors. Here we tested for association between an early subjective response phenotype, "dizziness," and 226 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CHRNgenes. The sample included 789 nicotine-dependent cases and 811 controls, where early "dizziness" reports were significantly associated with case/control status (P<0.0001). Multiple SNPs in the putative promoter region of the CHRNB3 gene were nominally associated with "dizziness" experience from the first few cigarettes (P<0.01). Cell culture studies were conducted to examine the ability of different haplotypes in the CHRNB3 promoter to drive luciferase expression. Data from these experiments support the hypothesis that different alleles in the CHRNB3 upstream promoter region may lead to different levels of RNA expression. In addition, a novel finding of association between SNPs in the CHRNA10 gene reached experiment-wide empirical significance (P=0.048), which implicates another CHRN gene as being involved in early subjective response to tobacco.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-609
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Gene expression
  • Genetics
  • Humans
  • Nicotinic receptors
  • Subjective effects
  • Tobacco


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