Background: Antisocial alcoholism is related to dopamine and serotonin which are catalyzed by monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). The objective of this study is to determine whether the interaction between the MAOA and the ALDH2 genes is associated with subjects with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) having alcoholism.
Methods: A total of 294 Han Chinese men in Taiwan including 132 ASPD with alcoholism (Antisocial ALC) and 162 without alcoholism (Antisocial Non-ALC) were recruited in this study. Alcohol dependence and ASPD were diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. Genotypes of ALDH2 and MAOA-uVNTR were determined using PCR-RFLP.
Results: A significant difference of ALDH2 polymorphisms (p = 3.39E-05), but not of MAOA, was found among the 2 study groups. However, only after the stratification of the MAOA-uVNTR (variable number of tandem repeat located upstream) 3-repeat, a significant association between Antisocial Non-ALC and ALDH2*1/*2 or *2/*2 genotypes was shown (p = 1.46E–05; odds ratio = 3.913); whereas stratification of MAOA-uVNTR 4-repeat revealed no association. Multiple logistic regression analysis further revealed significant interaction of MAOA and ALDH2 gene in antisocial ALC (odds ratio = 2.927; p = 0.032).
Conclusion: The possible interaction of MAOA and ALDH2 gene is associated with Antisocial ALC in Han Chinese males in Taiwan. However, the protective effects of the ALDH2*2 allele against alcoholism might disappear in subjects with ASPD and carrying MAOA-uVNTR 4-repeat allele in the Han Chinese male population.