GENETIC STUDY: Association between the nociceptin receptor gene (OPRL1) single nucleotide polymorphisms and alcohol dependence


Claes Wahlestedt, The Scripps Research Institute, 5353 Parkside Drive, Jupiter, FL 33458, USA. E-mail:


OPRL1 encodes the nociceptin receptor, which has been shown to be involved in alcohol dependence in previous studies. In the present study, we investigated the association between genetic polymorphisms of OPRL1 and alcohol dependence in a Scandinavian population. We genotyped 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the OPRL1 locus and found that SNP rs6010718 was significantly associated with both Type I and Type II alcoholics (P < 0.05). Linkage disequilibrium and haplotype analysis identified two haplotype blocks in this region. Furthermore, two haplotypes composed of five tag SNPs showed significant association with alcohol dependence. These findings suggest that genetic variants of the OPRL1 gene play a role in alcohol dependence in the Scandinavian population, warranting further investigation at the OPRL1 locus.