Interaction between DRD2 C957T polymorphism and an acute psychosocial stressor on reward-related behavioral impulsivity

Behav Genet. 2009 May;39(3):285-95. doi: 10.1007/s10519-008-9255-7. Epub 2009 Jan 16.


The dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) C957T polymorphism CC genotype is associated with decreased striatal binding of DRD2 and executive function and working memory impairments in healthy adults. We investigated the relationships between C957T and acute stress with behavioral phenotypes of impulsivity in 72 young adults randomly allocated to either an acute psychosocial stress or relaxation induction condition. Homozygotes for 957C showed increased reward responsiveness after stress induction. They were also quicker when making immediate choices on the delay discounting task when stressed, compared with homozygotes who were not stressed. No effects were found for response inhibition, a dimension of impulsivity not related to extrinsic rewards. These data suggest that C957T is associated with a reward-related impulsivity endophenotype in response to acute psychosocial stress. Future studies should examine whether the greater sensitivity of 957C homozygotes to the effects of stress is mediated through dopamine release.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alleles*
  • Arousal / genetics*
  • Feedback, Psychological
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / psychology
  • Genotype*
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / genetics*
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reaction Time / genetics
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / genetics*
  • Reward*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Young Adult


  • Receptors, Dopamine D2