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Association between serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms and heroin dependence: a meta-analytic study

Authors Lin PY, Wu YS

Received 26 August 2016

Accepted for publication 16 November 2016

Published 30 November 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 3061—3067


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Pao-Yen Lin,* Yi-Shan Wu*

Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Studies have examined the association between heroin dependence and serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms but yielded inconsistent results. The purpose of current study is to determine the overall effect of these polymorphisms on the risk for heroin dependence through a meta-analytic method.
Methods: A meta-analysis was conducted to examine the association of heroin dependence with two common polymorphisms of serotonin transporter gene, in the promoter (5-hydroxytryptamine transporter-linked promotor region [5-httlpr]) and intron 2 (a various number tandem repeat in serotonin transporter intron 2 [STin2]). Data from studies with 5-httlpr (6 studies) and STin2 (8 studies) were synthesized by random effects model.
Results: In the analysis, heroin dependence was found to be significantly associated with the S allele of 5-httlpr (odds ratio [OR] =1.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.08–1.41, P=0.002). The association between the S allele of 5-httlpr and heroin dependence was significant in Caucasian subjects (OR =1.37, 95% CI =1.12–1.68, P=0.003), but not in non-Caucasian subjects. On the other hand, no association with STin2 polymorphism was found (OR =1.14, 95% CI =0.91–1.42, P=0.242).
Conclusion: The results suggest an ethnic-specific effect of the 5-httlpr polymorphism on the risk for heroin dependence, but the influence of the genetic variance in the patients with comorbidities or intermediate phenotypes of heroin dependence needs to be further examined.

Keywords: ethnicity, heroin, polymorphism, serotonin transporter, STin2

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