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Keywords:

  • Alcoholism;
  • ALDH;
  • antisocial personality disorder;
  • comorbidity;
  • DRD2;
  • gene

ABSTRACT

Previous studies on acetaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) focused on drinking behavior or alcoholism because the ALDH2*2 allele protects against the risk of developing alcoholism. The mechanism provides that the ALDH2 gene's protective effect is also involved in dopamine metabolism. The interaction of the ALDH2 gene with neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, is suggested to be related to alcoholism. Because alcoholism is often co-morbid with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), previous association studies on antisocial alcoholism cannot differentiate whether those genes relate to ASPD with alcoholism or ASPD only. This study examined the influence of the interaction effect of the ALDH2*1*1, *1*2 or *2*2 polymorphisms with the dopamine 2 receptor (DRD2) Taq I polymorphism on ASPD. Our 541 Han Chinese male participants were classified into three groups: antisocial alcoholism (ASPD co-morbid with alcohol dependence, antisocial ALC; n = 133), ASPD without alcoholism (ASPD not co-morbid with alcohol dependence, antisocial non-ALC; n = 164) and community controls (healthy volunteers from the community; n = 244). Compared with healthy controls, individuals with the DRD2 A1/A1 and the ALDH2*1/*1 genotypes were at a 5.39 times greater risk for antisocial non-ALC than were those with other genotypes. Our results suggest that the DRD2/ANKK1 and ALDH2 genes interacted in the antisocial non-ALC group; a connection neglected in previous studies caused by not separating antisocial ALC from ASPD. Our study made this distinction and showed that these two genes may be associated ASPD without co-morbid alcoholism.