The functional polymorphism Asn(107) Ile (rs324981, A > T) of the neuropeptide S receptor (NPSR1) gene is involved in the modulation of traits that affect alcohol use. Hence, we have examined whether the NPSR1 A/T polymorphism is associated with alcohol use disorders (AUD) and alcohol use in a population-representative sample. Lifetime AUD were assessed by the MINI psychiatric interview (n = 501) in the older cohort of the longitudinal Estonian Children Personality Behaviour and Health Study at age 25. Alcohol use, environmental adversities and personality were reported by both the younger (original n = 583) and the older cohort (original n = 593) in three study waves. NPSR1 associations with AUD and alcohol use differed by sex. In females, both AUD [odds ratio (OR) = 7.20 (0.94-55.0), P = 0.029] and harmful alcohol use were more prevalent in A-allele carriers. In contrast, in males, AUD was more frequent in T-allele carriers [OR = 2.75 (1.19-6.36), P = 0.017], especially if exposed to adverse environments at age 15 [OR = 10 (1.18-84.51), P = 0.019]. Alcohol use was higher in male T-allele carriers at ages 15 and 18 as well. Similarly to females, however, the risk allele for higher alcohol use for males at age 25 was the A-allele. Many of the effects on alcohol use were explained by genotype effects on measures of personality. In the general population, the NPSR1 Asn(107) Ile polymorphism is associated with AUD and alcohol consumption, dependent on sex, environment and age. The results are in line with the impulsivity and personality regulating role of the NPSR1.
Keywords: Addiction; NPSR1; alcohol; impulsivity; neuropeptide S; personality.
© 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.