Background: Linkage and association studies of alcoholism using DNA makers have been conducted without conclusive results. The comorbidity of alcoholism with affective disorder indicates that dysfunction of the serotonergic system may play an important role in developing alcoholism.
Methods: We studied the genetic association between alcoholism and alleles of the HTR1A, HTR2A, and HTR2C genes. The subjects were 91 biologically unrelated alcoholics and 90 controls. Polymorphisms of these genes were determined by polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphisms, and the data were analyzed by chi2 tests.
Results: We found no significant association between alcoholism and the HTR1A, HTR2A, and HTR2C genes.
Conclusions: The study results suggest that these serotonergic receptor genes may not directly contribute to the etiology of alcoholism.