Objective: To further evaluate the controversial putative association between a Ser9Gly variant in the first exon of the dopamine D3 receptor gene (DRD3) and schizophrenia.
Methods: Swedish patients with schizophrenia ( n=156) and control subjects ( n=463) were assessed for the DRD3 Ser9Gly variant. Meta-analyses including previous and the present Swedish case-control results were performed.
Results: No significant difference between the Swedish patients and controls were found, but there was an association between DRD3 Ser9Gly Ser/Ser and homozygous genotypes and response to anti-psychotic drugs. This finding was supported by an incomplete meta-analysis. In a meta-analysis of all case-control studies comprising 8761 subjects the association between DRD3 Ser9Gly homozygosity and schizophrenia ( =4.96, degree of freedom=1, p <0.05, odds ratio=1.10, 95% confidence interval=1.01-1.20) persisted. However, the previously proposed association between the Ser/Ser genotype and schizophrenia was not significant (chi2 =2.71, degree of freedom=1, p>0.05, odds ratio=1.08, 95% confidence interval=0.99-1.17).
Conclusions: Whereas the present Swedish case-control analysis did not yield any evidence for association with the diagnosis, the present meta-analysis suggests that the DRD3 gene confer susceptibility to schizophrenia. Reasons for the discrepancies between prior studies are discussed.