Association studies of dopamine synthesis and metabolism genes with multiple phenotypes of heroin dependence

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Background: Heroin dependence is a complex disease with multiple phenotypes. Classification of heroin users into more homogeneous subgroups on the basis of these phenotypes could help to identify the involved genetic factors and precise treatments. This study aimed to identify the association between genetic polymorphisms of DA synthesis and metabolism genes, including tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), DOPA decarboxylase (DDC), solute carrier family 6 member 3 (SLC6A3) and DA beta-hydroxylase (DBH), with six important phenotypes of heroin dependence. Methods: A total of 801 heroin dependent patients were recruited and fourteen potential functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped by SNaPshot. Associations between SNPs with six phenotypes were mainly assessed by binary logistic regression. Generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction was used to analyze the gene-by-gene and gene-by-environment interactions. Results: We found that DBH rs1611114 TT genotype had a protective effect on memory impairment after heroin dependence (P = 0.002, OR = 0.610). We also found that the income-rs12666409-rs129915-rs1611114 interaction yielded the highest testing balance accuracy and cross-validation consistency for memory change after heroin dependence. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the memory change after heroin dependence was a result of a combination of genetics and environment. This finding could lead to a better understanding of heroin dependence and further improve personalized treatment.




Li, Y., Zhu, Y., Lai, J., Shi, X., Chen, Y., Zhang, J., & Wei, S. (2020). Association studies of dopamine synthesis and metabolism genes with multiple phenotypes of heroin dependence. BMC Medical Genetics, 21(1).

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