[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a GWAS of alcohol dependence (AD) in European-American (EA) and African-American (AA) populations, with replication in independent samples of EAs, AAs and Germans. Our sample for discovery and replication was 16 087 subjects, the largest sample for AD GWAS to date. Numerous genome-wide significant (GWS) associations were identified, many novel. Most associations were population specific, but in several cases were GWS in EAs and AAs for different SNPs at the same locus,showing biological convergence across populations. We confirmed well-known risk loci mapped to alcohol-metabolizing enzyme genes, notably ADH1B (EAs: Arg48His, P=1.17 × 10(-31); AAs: Arg369Cys, P=6.33 × 10(-17)) and ADH1C in AAs (Thr151Thr, P=4.94 × 10(-10)), and identified novel risk loci mapping to the ADH gene cluster on chromosome 4 and extending centromerically beyond it to include GWS associations at LOC100507053 in AAs (P=2.63 × 10(-11)), PDLIM5 in EAs (P=2.01 × 10(-8)), and METAP in AAs (P=3.35 × 10(-8)). We also identified a novel GWS association (1.17 × 10(-10)) mapped to chromosome 2 at rs1437396, between MTIF2 and CCDC88A, across all of the EA and AA cohorts, with supportive gene expression evidence, and population-specific GWS for markers on chromosomes 5, 9 and 19. Several of the novel associations implicate direct involvement of, or interaction with, genes previously identified as schizophrenia risk loci. Confirmation of known AD risk loci supports the overall validity of the study; the novel loci are worthy of genetic and biological follow-up. The findings support a convergence of risk genes (but not necessarily risk alleles) between populations, and, to a lesser extent, between psychiatric traits.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 29 October 2013; doi:10.1038/mp.2013.145.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) metabolizes the conversion of dopamine to noradrenaline. DBH, located on chromosome 9q34.2 has variants with potential functional consequences which may be related to alterations of neurotransmitter function and several psychiatric phenotypes, including alcohol dependence (AD), depression (MD) and suicidal behavior (SA). The aim of this association study in a large multicenter sample of alcohol-dependent individuals and controls is to investigate the role of DBH SNPs and haplotypes in AD risk and associated phenotypes (AD with MD or SA).
1606 inpatient subjects with DSM-IV AD from four addiction treatment centers and 1866 control subjects were included. Characteristics of AD, MD and SA were obtained using standardized structured interviews. After subjects were genotyped for 4 DBH polymorphisms, single SNP case-control and haplotype analyses were conducted.
rs1611115 (near 5') C-allele and related haplotypes were significantly associated with alcohol dependence in females. This association with female alcohol dependence also accounts for the significant relationship between this variant and comorbid conditions and traits.
This study presents evidence for a potentially functional DBH variant influencing the risk for alcohol dependence while other comorbid conditions are not independently influenced by this SNP. However, the study also supports the possible role of the dopamine system in the etiology of female alcohol dependence.
Drug and alcohol dependence 07/2013; · 3.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several lines of evidence from previous research indicate that opioid receptors play an important role in ethanol reinforcement and alcohol dependence (AD) risk. Conflicting results were reported on the role of the mu-opioid receptor (OPRM1) polymorphism A118G (Asn40Asp, rs1799971) in the development of alcoholism.
We investigated a total number of 1,845 alcohol-dependent subjects recruited from inpatient facilities in Germany and 1,863 controls for the mu-opioid receptor (OPRM1) polymorphism using chi-square statistics.
An association between the OPRM variant and AD was detected (p = 0.022), in recessive (AA vs. GA/GG) and co-dominant (AA vs. GA) models of inheritance. An association between the OPRM variant and the DSM-IV criterion "efforts to cut down or could not" (p = 0.047) was found, but this did not remain significant after the correction for multiple testing.
The results indicate that this functional OPRM variant is associated with risk of AD and these findings apply to more severe AD, although the association is only nominally significant.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 02/2012; 36(7):1230-6. · 3.42 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An alcohol-associated change in the serum transferrin glycoform pattern, carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), is used as a biomarker of chronic moderate to heavy alcohol consumption. Furthermore, CDT is employed as a marker of abstinence. Here, we analyzed CDT in patients with chronic excessive alcohol abuse at the beginning and during abstinence. Twenty-nine alcohol dependent patients were recruited from an in-patient abstention program. Reported drinking levels were at least 100 g/d (range up to 450 g/d; mean: 248.9±94.7 g/d) within the last month before study entry. Blood samples were drawn at the beginning and during the abstention program and the relative concentration (%CDT) of CDT was determined using ion exchange followed by immunodetermination of CDT. At study entry, 25/29 patients had a %CDT level above the established cutoff. Although CDT levels declined during abstinence in most patients, in ten patients with %CDT levels just above the cutoff at the start of the program, the CDT values remained elevated 6 weeks after cessation of drinking. Our data indicate that %CDT levels below the cutoff cannot even rule out long lasting excessive alcohol abuse. Further, measurement of %CDT should be interpreted with special care when used as a marker of alcohol abstinence.
Experimental and Molecular Pathology 02/2012; 92(1):50-3. · 2.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol dependence (AD) is an important contributory factor to the global burden of disease. The etiology of AD involves both environmental and genetic factors, and the disorder has a heritability of around 50%. The aim of the present study was to identify susceptibility genes for AD by performing a genome-wide association study (GWAS). The sample comprised 1333 male in-patients with severe AD according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, and 2168 controls. These included 487 patients and 1358 controls from a previous GWAS study by our group. All individuals were of German descent. Single-marker tests and a polygenic score-based analysis to assess the combined contribution of multiple markers with small effects were performed. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1789891, which is located between the ADH1B and ADH1C genes, achieved genome-wide significance [P = 1.27E-8, odds ratio (OR) = 1.46]. Other markers from this region were also associated with AD, and conditional analyses indicated that these made a partially independent contribution. The SNP rs1789891 is in complete linkage disequilibrium with the functional Arg272Gln variant (P = 1.24E-7, OR = 1.31) of the ADH1C gene, which has been reported to modify the rate of ethanol oxidation to acetaldehyde in vitro. A polygenic score-based approach produced a significant result (P = 9.66E-9). This is the first GWAS of AD to provide genome-wide significant support for the role of the ADH gene cluster and to suggest a polygenic component to the etiology of AD. The latter result may indicate that many more AD susceptibility genes still await identification.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circadian and stress-response systems mediate environmental changes that affect alcohol drinking. Psychosocial stress is an environmental risk factor for alcohol abuse. Circadian rhythm gene period 1 (Per1) is targeted by stress hormones and is transcriptionally activated in corticotropin releasing factor-expressing cells. The authors hypothesized that Per1 is involved in integrating stress response and circadian rhythmicity and explored its relevance to alcohol drinking.
In mice, the effects of stress on ethanol intake in mPer1-mutant and wild-type mice were assessed. In humans, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in hPer1 were tested for association with alcohol drinking behavior in 273 adolescents and an adult case-control sample of 1,006 alcohol-dependent patients and 1,178 comparison subjects. In vitro experiments were conducted to measure genotype-specific expression and transcription factor binding to hPer1.
The mPer1-mutant mice showed enhanced alcohol consumption in response to social defeat stress relative to their wild-type littermates. An association with the frequency of heavy drinking in adolescents with the hPer1 promoter SNP rs3027172 and with psychosocial adversity was found. There was significant interaction between the rs3027172 genotype and psychosocial adversity on this drinking measure. In a confirmatory analysis, association of hPer1 rs3027172 with alcohol dependence was shown. Cortisol-induced transcriptional activation of hPer1 was reduced in human B-lymphoblastoid cells carrying the risk genotype of rs3027172. Binding affinity of the transcription factor Snail1 to the risk allele of the hPer1 SNP rs3027172 was also reduced.
The findings indicate that the hPer1 gene regulates alcohol drinking behavior during stressful conditions and provide evidence for underlying neurobiological mechanisms.
American Journal of Psychiatry 08/2011; 168(10):1090-8. · 14.72 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol has been shown to critically modulate cyclic adenosine-3',5' monophosphate (cAMP) signaling. A number of downstream effectors that respond to the cAMP signals (e.g., protein kinase A, cAMP response element binding protein) have, in turn, been examined in relation to alcohol consumption. These studies did not, however, delineate the point at which the actions of alcohol on the cAMP cascade might translate into differences in drinking behavior. To further understand the role of cAMP synthesis in alcohol drinking and dependence, we investigated a specific adenylyl cyclase isoform, adenylyl cyclase (AC) Type 7, whose activity is selectively enhanced by ethanol.
We measured alcohol consumption and preference in mice in which one copy of the Adcy7 gene was disrupted (Adcy7(+/-)). To demonstrate relevance of this gene for alcohol dependence in humans, we tested the association of polymorphisms in the ADCY7 gene with alcohol dependence in a sample of 1703 alcohol-dependent individuals and 1347 control subjects.
We show that Adcy7(+/-) female mice have higher preference for alcohol than wild-type mice, whereas there is little difference in alcohol consumption or preference between Adcy7(+/-) male mice and wild-type control subjects. In the human sample, we found that single nucleotide polymorphisms in ADCY7 associate with alcohol dependence in women, and these markers are also associated with ADCY7 expression (messenger RNA) levels.
These findings implicate adenylyl cyclase Type 7 as a critical component of the molecular pathways contributing to alcohol drinking and the development of alcohol dependence.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic variants of the alcohol-metabolizing enzyme ADH4, located on chromosome 4q22-4q23, have been related to alcohol dependence (AD) risk in previous research. The aim of this association study in a large multicenter sample of alcohol-dependent individuals and controls is to confirm ADH4 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and haplotype association with AD and relevant related phenotypes. One thousand, six hundred and twenty-two (1622) inpatient subjects and 1469 control subjects with DSM-IV. AD from four addiction treatment centres were included. Characteristics of AD and related phenotypes including alcohol withdrawal, Cloninger's type I and II and first ages of drinking, regular drinking and AD onset were obtained using standardized structured interviews. After subjects were genotyped for 2 ADH4 polymorphisms, single SNP case-control and haplotype analyses were conducted. Both variants--rs1800759 and rs1042364--and the A-A and C-G haplotypes were significantly related to AD across samples. Furthermore, associations with AD-related phenotypes and subtypes revealed a potential protective influence of this haplotype. This study confirms the significant relationship of ADH4 variants with AD and related phenotypes. While the rs1800759 and rs1042364 A-A haplotype had a potential protective influence on the risk for several AD-related phenotypes, this effect is rather small compared to functional variants of other alcohol or acetaldehyde-metabolizing enzymes like ALDH2*2 or ADH1B*2.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol abuse and dependence have proven to be complex genetic traits that are influenced by environmental factors. Primate and human studies have shown that early life stress increases the propensity for alcohol abuse in later life. The reinforcing properties of alcohol are mediated by dopaminergic signaling; however, there is little evidence to indicate how stress alters alcohol reinforcement. KCNJ6 (the gene encoding G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium channel 2 (GIRK2)) is a brain expressed potassium channel with inhibitory effects on dopaminergic tone. The properties of GIRK2 have been shown to be enhanced by the stress peptide corticotrophin-releasing hormone. Therefore, we sought to examine the role of KCNJ6 polymorphisms in adult alcohol dependence and stress-related alcohol abuse in adolescents. We selected 11 SNPs in the promoter region of KCNJ6, which were genotyped in 1152 adult alcohol dependents and 1203 controls. One SNP, rs2836016, was found to be associated with alcohol dependence (p=0.01, false discovery rate). We then assessed rs2836016 in an adolescent sample of 261 subjects, which were characterized for early life stress and adolescent hazardous drinking, defined using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), to examine gene-environment interactions. In the adolescent sample, the risk genotype of rs2836016 was significantly associated with increased AUDIT scores, but only in those individuals exposed to high levels of psychosocial stress in early life (p=0.01). Our findings show that KCNJ6 is associated with alcohol dependence and may moderate the effect of early psychosocial stress on risky alcohol drinking in adolescents. We have identified a candidate gene for future studies investigating a possible functional link between the response to stress and alcohol reinforcement.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 02/2011; 36(6):1142-8. · 6.99 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recent genome-wide study revealed an association between variation in the PNPLA3 gene and liver fat content. In addition, the PNPLA3 single-nucleotide polymorphism rs738409 (M148I) was reported to be associated with advanced alcoholic liver disease in alcohol-dependent individuals of Mestizo descent. We therefore evaluated the impact of rs738409 on the manifestation of alcoholic liver disease in two independent German cohorts. Genotype and allele frequencies of rs738409 (M148I) were determined in 1,043 alcoholic patients with or without alcoholic liver injury and in 376 at-risk drinkers from a population-based cohort. Relative to alcoholic patients without liver damage (n = 439), rs738409 genotype GG was strongly overrepresented in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis (n = 210; OR 2.79; P(genotype) = 1.2 × 10(-5) ; P(allelic) = 1.6 × 10(-6) ) and in alcoholic patients without cirrhosis but with elevated alanine aminotransferase levels (n = 219; OR 2.33; P(genotype) = 0.0085; P(allelic) = 0.0042). The latter, biochemically defined association was confirmed in an independent population-based cohort of at-risk drinkers with a median alcohol intake of 300 g/week (OR 4.75; P(genotype) = 0.040; P(allelic) = 0.022), and for aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels. Frequencies of allele PNPLA3 rs738409(G) in individuals with steatosis and normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and AST levels were lower than in alcoholics without steatosis and normal ALT/AST (P(combined) = 0.03). The population attributable risk of cirrhosis in alcoholic carriers of allele PNPLA3 rs738409(G) was estimated at 26.6%. CONCLUSION: Genotype PNPLA3 rs738409(GG) is associated with alcoholic liver cirrhosis and elevated aminotransferase levels in alcoholic Caucasians.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several lines of evidence indicate that alterations of the central cortico-accumbens glutamate pathway are involved in the development and maintenance of alcohol- and substance-use disorders. The HOMER protein family is encoded by 3 genes HOMER (1-3) which are components of the excitatory postsynaptic density complex and function to modulate synaptic activity by the regulation of glutamate signaling. HOMER 1 and 2 have been reported to contribute to chronic alcohol-induced long-term neurochemical changes in the endogenous reward system. Data from animal models suggest a potential role of the Homer protein family in the development of alcohol and substance use. The aim of this study is to assess potential associations between HOMER 1 and 2 genetic variants in a larger sample of alcohol-dependent individuals and unrelated controls. Five genetic variants of HOMER 1 and 3 of HOMER 2 were genotyped in a multi-site sample of 1,923 German healthy controls and 2,039 alcohol-dependent subjects. Neither single SNP nor haplotype analysis could detect significant associations with alcohol dependence (AD) and related phenotypes. While most of the HOMER 1 and 2 SNPs are in low-to-moderate linkage disequilibrium, three major haplotypes of HOMER 1 and 4 haplotypes of HOMER 2 are present in the majority of alcohol-dependent and control subjects. In conclusion, our results suggest that single SNPs, respectively, haplotypes of the HOMER 1 and 2 genes are unlikely to play a major role in the pathophysiology of AD.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 03/2010; 153B(5):1102-9. · 3.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Approximately 14% of those who use alcohol meet criteria during their lifetime for alcohol dependence, which is characterized by tolerance, withdrawal, inability to stop drinking, and continued drinking despite serious psychological or physiological problems. We explored genetic influences on alcohol dependence among 1,897 European-American and African-American subjects with alcohol dependence compared with 1,932 unrelated, alcohol-exposed, nondependent controls. Constitutional DNA of each subject was genotyped using the Illumina 1M beadchip. Fifteen SNPs yielded P < 10(-5), but in two independent replication series, no SNP passed a replication threshold of P < 0.05. Candidate gene GABRA2, which encodes the GABA receptor alpha2 subunit, was evaluated independently. Five SNPs at GABRA2 yielded nominal (uncorrected) P < 0.05, with odds ratios between 1.11 and 1.16. Further dissection of the alcoholism phenotype, to disentangle the influence of comorbid substance-use disorders, will be a next step in identifying genetic variants associated with alcohol dependence.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2010; 107(11):5082-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol dependence is a serious and common public health problem. It is well established that genetic factors play a major role in the development of this disorder. Identification of genes that contribute to alcohol dependence will improve our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie this disorder.
To identify susceptibility genes for alcohol dependence through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and a follow-up study in a population of German male inpatients with an early age at onset.
The GWAS tested 524,396 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). All SNPs with P < 10(-4) were subjected to the follow-up study. In addition, nominally significant SNPs from genes that had also shown expression changes in rat brains after long-term alcohol consumption were selected for the follow-up step.
Five university hospitals in southern and central Germany.
The GWAS included 487 male inpatients with alcohol dependence as defined by the DSM-IV and an age at onset younger than 28 years and 1358 population-based control individuals. The follow-up study included 1024 male inpatients and 996 age-matched male controls. All the participants were of German descent.
Significant association findings in the GWAS and follow-up study with the same alleles.
The GWAS produced 121 SNPs with nominal P < 10(-4). These, together with 19 additional SNPs from homologues of rat genes showing differential expression, were genotyped in the follow-up sample. Fifteen SNPs showed significant association with the same allele as in the GWAS. In the combined analysis, 2 closely linked intergenic SNPs met genome-wide significance (rs7590720, P = 9.72 x 10(-9); rs1344694, P = 1.69 x 10(-8)). They are located on chromosome region 2q35, which has been implicated in linkage studies for alcohol phenotypes. Nine SNPs were located in genes, including the CDH13 and ADH1C genes, that have been reported to be associated with alcohol dependence.
This is the first GWAS and follow-up study to identify a genome-wide significant association in alcohol dependence. Further independent studies are required to confirm these findings.
Archives of general psychiatry 08/2009; 66(7):773-84. · 12.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insecure attachment (IA) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are discussed as risk factors for increased alcohol intake and the development of alcoholism.
Among a sample of 517 consecutively admitted German inpatients with alcohol dependence we investigated the contribution of IA to alcoholism phenotypes, taking into consideration comorbid ADHD.
IA was significantly associated with increased alcohol consumption, increased frequency of withdrawal symptoms, increased frequency of physical or psychological problems that are likely to have been worsened by alcohol, and reduced social activities because of alcohol use. ADHD has no significant effect on these parameters.
IA developed as a result of social interactions during childhood long before alcohol dependence. The results point to an important effect of IA on the severity and acceleration of alcohol dependence. Therefore, it might be helpful to improve efforts in primary prevention and psychotherapy of alcohol dependence by considering the specific needs of subjects with an IA.
Der Nervenarzt 07/2009; 80(7):827-32. · 0.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HintergrundUnsichere Bindungsstrategien (UB) und das Aufmerksamkeitsdefizit-/Hyperaktivitätssyndrom (ADHS) sollen zu erhöhtem Alkoholkonsum
führen und das Risiko erhöhen, eine Alkoholabhängigkeit zu entwickeln.
Material und MethodenBei 517 stationär behandelten deutschen Alkoholabhängigen wurde untersucht, ob unsichere Bindungsstrategien Einfluss auf den
Beginn und den Verlauf der Alkoholabhängigkeit haben. In der Analyse wurden konfundierende Effekte eines komorbiden ADHS berücksichtigt.
ErgebnisseAlkoholabhängige mit unsicheren Bindungsstrategien zeigten, unabhängig von dem Vorliegen eines ADHS, signifikant höhere Trinkmengen,
häufiger Entzugsymptome, einen sozialen Rückzug und konsumierten häufiger Alkohol trotz Nachweises eines physischen oder psychischen
SchlussfolgerungUnsichere Bindungsstrategien entwickeln sich durch soziale Interaktionen lange vor Entstehung der Alkoholabhängigkeit und
beeinflussen die Schwere und den Verlauf der Abhängigkeit ungünstig. Somit könnte es lohnend sein, die individuellen Bindungsstrategien
bei Angeboten der Primärprävention, aber auch bei der Therapie von Alkoholabhängigen stärker zu berücksichtigen.
BackgroundInsecure attachment (IA) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are discussed as risk factors for increased alcohol
intake and the development of alcoholism.
MethodsAmong a sample of 517 consecutively admitted German inpatients with alcohol dependence we investigated the contribution of
IA to alcoholism phenotypes, taking into consideration comorbid ADHD.
ResultsIA was significantly associated with increased alcohol consumption, increased frequency of withdrawal symptoms, increased
frequency of physical or psychological problems that are likely to have been worsened by alcohol, and reduced social activities
because of alcohol use. ADHD has no significant effect on these parameters.
ConclusionsIA developed as a result of social interactions during childhood long before alcohol dependence. The results point to an important
effect of IA on the severity and acceleration of alcohol dependence. Therefore, it might be helpful to improve efforts in
primary prevention and psychotherapy of alcohol dependence by considering the specific needs of subjects with an IA.
Der Nervenarzt 01/2009; 80(7):827-832. · 0.80 Impact Factor