Serotonergic pathway genes and subtypes of alcoholism: Association studies

Abbas Parsian, C. Robert Cloninger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    65 Scopus citations


    Disturbances of the serotonergic pathway have been implicated in many psychiatric disorders, including alcoholism, aggression, schizophrenia and depression. The personality dimension of harm avoidance is correlated positively with the activity of mesolimbic serotonergic neurons. The goal of this study was to determine the role of the genes in this pathway in the development of type II alcoholism. A sample of alcoholics and normal controls were screened with the variations in tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), serotonin receptors (5-HT2A and 5-HT2C), serotonin transporter (5-HTT), and monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) genes. The results of association studies for type II alcoholics were the most significant with 5-HTT (P = 0.011) and MAO-A (P = 0.029) genes. However, after correction for multiple comparisons, none of the results reached the significance level. These data indicate that the genes in the serotonergic pathway may be involved in the development of type II alcoholism but the gene effects are very small.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)89-94
    Number of pages6
    JournalPsychiatric genetics
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 2001


    • Alcoholism
    • Association
    • Genetics
    • Serotonin


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