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Homozygosity for the Gly-9 variant of the dopamine D3 receptor and risk for tardive dyskinesia in schizophrenic patients

Roger Løvlie, Ann K. Daly, Richard Blennerhassett, Nicol Ferrier, Vidar M. Steen
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1461145700001796 61-65 First published online: 1 March 2000


This study was undertaken to re-examine whether homozygosity for the Gly-9 variant (allele 2) of the dopamine D3 receptor gene (DRD3) is associated with increased risk for tardive dyskinesia (TD) in schizophrenic patients. Seventy-one antipsychotic-treated subjects with schizophrenia from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, were genotyped for the presence of allele 1 (Ser-9) and allele 2 (Gly-9) of the dopamine D3 receptor (DRD3) Ser-9-Gly polymorphism. Among 32 patients with TD, 7 subjects (22 %) were homozygous for the Gly-9 variant (2–2 genotype), whereas 4 out of 39 patients (10 %) without TD had this genotype. The non-significant tendency in this sample towards an over-representation of allele 2 and the 2–2 genotype among schizophrenic patients with TD is in line with our initial report as well as recent studies by others, indicating that the Gly-9 allele of DRD3 may be a susceptibility factor for the development of TD in neuroleptic-treated individuals with schizophrenia. There are, however, some recent non-supportive reports, and since the trend in our present study failed to reach statistical significance, further studies on larger samples and future meta-analysis may be necessary to establish the role of the DRD3 in the pathogenesis of TD.

Key words
  • Dopamine
  • DRD3
  • schizophrenia
  • tardive dyskinesia