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October 10, 1990

Allelic Association of Human Dopamine D2 Receptor Gene in Alcoholism

Author Affiliations

University of Washington Seattle

University of Washington Seattle

JAMA. 1990;264(14):1807-1808. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450140027014

To the Editor.—  The rationale, design, and biologic significance of association studies of genetic markers in disease need to be understood to evaluate claims for the role of a dopamine receptor gene in alcoholism.1A DNA variant or restriction fragment length polymorphism for a dopamine-2 receptor gene has been described.2 The frequencies of allele 1 and allele 2 were 0.24 and 0.76, respectively, in a normal population. The probe used and extensive knowledge about the sites of restriction fragment length polymorphisms in DNA suggest that this alteration affects noncoding DNA. Such DNA markers are frequent and usually have no biologic function. Blum et al1 used this probe in 35 brain DNA specimens from nonalcoholics and found allele 1 and 2 frequencies of 0.13 and 0.87, respectively. In contrast, among brain samples from 35 alcoholics the frequencies of allele 1 and allele 2 were 0.37 and 0.63, respectively. Based