• allelic association;
  • neuroleptics;
  • quantitative trait;
  • tandem repeat


We have examined the hypothesis that a variable number of tandem repeats in the third cytoplasmic loop of the dopamine D4 receptor influences clinical response to clozapine using a sample of 189 schizophrenic patients. Alleles of the 48-bp repeat, which range from two to ten copies in the normal human population, were analysed by the polymerase chain reaction using genomic DNA as template. Association between these alleles and response to clozapine was tested using the difference in pre-and post-treatment GAS scores as a measure of response. We found no statistically significant variation between genotypic groups and response by analysis of variance. We conclude that the variation of the number of 48-bp repeats alone does not determine response to clozapine. Larger studies are underway to determine if there is a more subtle relationship with sequence variation within the repeats or at other polymorphic sites within the gene that may provide evidence for a component of clozapine's action being at D4 receptors. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.