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Evidence suggests that γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors are involved in the development of drug dependence. Considering its exclusively extrasynaptic localization, GABA receptor delta subunit (GABRD) is likely involved in heroin addiction. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of GABRD and heroin addiction. Genotyping of five SNPs (rs13303344, rs4481796, rs2376805, rs2229110, and rs41307846) in GABRD gene was performed by using TaqMan SNP assay. The association between heroin addiction and these SNPs was assessed in 446 heroin dependent patients and 400 normal control subjects of male Han Chinese origin. Only the genotype and allele frequencies at rs13303344 differed significantly between the cases and controls (nominal P values were 0.028 and 0.019, respectively). The C allele of rs13303344 was associated with an increased risk of heroin addiction (OR = 1.281, 95 % CI: 1.042-1.575). After Bonferroni correction, the association lost significance. The frequencies of the haplotype C-C-A and A-C-A at GARBD (rs13303344-rs4481796- rs2376805) differed significantly between the cases and controls. The heroin craving score was significantly higher in patients with CC/AC genotypes at rs13303344 than in those with the AA genotype (nominal P = 0.017). The results suggest that GABRD rs13303344 may contribute to the susceptibility to heroin addiction and is associated with the drug cravings of heroin dependent patients. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Xiaohu Xie, Jun Gu, Dingding Zhuang, Wenwen Shen, Longhui Li, Yue Liu, Wenjin Xu, Qingxiao Hong, Weisheng Chen, Wenhua Zhou, Huifen Liu. Association between GABA receptor delta subunit gene polymorphisms and heroin addiction. Neuroscience letters. 2021 Apr 19;755:135905

PMID: 33887383

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