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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Aug;1074:104-15.

Genes and gene expression in the brains of human alcoholics.

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  • 1School of Molecular and Microbial Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia. p.dodd@uq.edu.au


Chronic alcohol misuse by human subjects leads to neuronal loss in regions such as the superior frontal cortex (SFC). Propensity to alcoholism is associated with several genes. gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)(A) receptor expression differs between alcoholics and controls, whereas glutamate receptor differences are muted. We determined whether genotype differentiated the regional presentation of GABA(A) and glutamate-NMDA (N-methyl-d-aspartate) receptors in SFC. Autopsy tissue was obtained from alcoholics without comorbid disease, alcoholics with liver cirrhosis, and matched controls. ADH1C, DRD2B, EAAT2, and APOE genotypes modulated GABA(A)-beta subunit protein expression in SFC toward a less-effective form of the receptor. Most genotypes did not divide alcoholics and controls on glutamate-NMDA receptor pharmacology, although gender and cirrhosis did. Genotype may affect amino acid transmission locally to influence neuronal vulnerability.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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