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Pharmacogenomics J. 2010 Jun;10(3):200-18. doi: 10.1038/tpj.2009.65. Epub 2009 Dec 22.

Effect of dopamine D3 receptor gene polymorphisms and clozapine treatment response: exploratory analysis of nine polymorphisms and meta-analysis of the Ser9Gly variant.

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  • 1Neurogenetics Section, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


D2 blockade has been implicated in having a central role in antipsychotic response. However, treatment refractoriness, in spite of complete D2 blockade, as well as the efficacy of clozapine (CLZ) in a portion of this patient population, indicates the involvement of other factors as well. Several lines of evidence suggest a role for D3. Furthermore, an earlier meta-analysis by Jönsson et al. (2003) (n=233) suggested a role for genetic variation in the D3 gene. Relevant to this study, Jönsson et al. found the Ser allele of the D3 serine-to-glycine substitution at amino acid position 9 (Ser9Gly) polymorphism to be associated with worse CLZ response compared with the Gly allele. In this study, we attempt to validate these findings by performing a meta-analysis in a much larger sample (n=758). Eight other variants were also tested in our own sample to explore the possible effect of other regions of the gene. We report a negative but consistent trend across individual studies in our meta-analysis for the DRD3 Ser allele and poor CLZ response. A possible minor role for this single-nucleotide polymorphism cannot be disregarded, as our sample size may have been insufficient. Other DRD3 variants and haplotypes of possible interest were also identified for replication in future studies.

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