DRD3 variation associates with early-onset heroin dependence, but not specific personality traits

Shin Chang Kuo, Yi Wei Yeh, Chun Yen Chen, Chang Chih Huang, Hsin An Chang, Che Hung Yen, Pei Shen Ho, Chih Sung Liang, Han Wei Chou, Ru Band Lu, San Yuan Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Dopamine D3 receptor-mediated pathways are involved in the mechanism of addiction, and genetic factors play a role in the vulnerability to heroin dependence. The aim of this study was to examine whether the corresponding gene, DRD3, is associated with the development of heroin dependence and specific personality traits in HD patients. Eight polymorphisms in DRD3 were analyzed in 1067 unrelated Han Chinese subjects (566 heroin dependence patients and 501 controls). All participants were screened using the same assessment tool and all patients met the criteria for heroin dependence. A Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire was used to assess personality traits in 276 heroin dependence patients. In addition, heroin dependence patients were divided into 4 clinical subgroups based on age-of-onset and family history of substance abuse, to reduce the clinical heterogeneity. The rs6280 and rs9825563 variants showed association with the development of early-onset heroin dependence. The GTA haplotype frequency in the block (rs324029, rs6280, rs9825563) was significantly associated with early-onset heroin dependence (p= 0.003). However, these significant associations were weaker after Bonferroni's correction. In addition, these DRD3 polymorphisms did not influence novelty seeking and harm avoidance scores in HD patients. DRD3 is possibly a genetic factor in the development of early-onset heroin dependence, but is not associated with specific personality traits in these patients among the Han Chinese population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun 3

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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