Common variants in DRD2 are associated with sleep duration: the CARe consortium

Hum Mol Genet. 2016 Jan 1;25(1):167-79. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddv434. Epub 2015 Oct 13.


Sleep duration is implicated in the etiologies of chronic diseases and premature mortality. However, the genetic basis for sleep duration is poorly defined. We sought to identify novel genetic components influencing sleep duration in a multi-ethnic sample. Meta-analyses were conducted of genetic associations with self-reported, habitual sleep duration from seven Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) cohorts of over 25 000 individuals of African, Asian, European and Hispanic American ancestry. All individuals were genotyped for ∼50 000 SNPs from 2000 candidate heart, lung, blood and sleep genes. African-Americans had additional genome-wide genotypes. Four cohorts provided replication. A SNP (rs17601612) in the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) was significantly associated with sleep duration (P = 9.8 × 10(-7)). Conditional analysis identified a second DRD2 signal with opposite effects on sleep duration. In exploratory analysis, suggestive association was observed for rs17601612 with polysomnographically determined sleep latency (P = 0.002). The lead DRD2 signal was recently identified in a schizophrenia GWAS, and a genetic risk score of 11 additional schizophrenia GWAS loci genotyped on the IBC array was also associated with longer sleep duration (P = 0.03). These findings support a role for DRD2 in influencing sleep duration. Our work motivates future pharmocogenetics research on alerting agents such as caffeine and modafinil that interact with the dopaminergic pathway and further investigation of genetic overlap between sleep and neuro-psychiatric traits.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Ethnicity
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Polysomnography
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / genetics*
  • Sleep / genetics*
  • Time Factors


  • DRD2 protein, human
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2

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