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Am J Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;167(7):763-72. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09040598. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

D2 receptor genetic variation and clinical response to antipsychotic drug treatment: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Division of Psychiatry Research, Department of Psychiatry, The Zucker Hillside Hospital, 75-59 263rd St., Glen Oaks, NY 11004, USA.



Several lines of evidence suggest that antipsychotic drug efficacy is mediated by dopamine type 2 (D(2)) receptor blockade. Therefore, it seems plausible that variation in the DRD(2) gene is associated with clinical response to antipsychotic drug treatment. The authors conducted the first meta-analysis to examine the relationship between DRD2 polymorphisms and antipsychotic drug response.


A MEDLINE search of articles available up to December 31, 2008, yielded 18 prospective studies examining DRD2 gene variation and antipsychotic response in schizophrenia patients; of which, 10 independent studies met criteria for inclusion. Clinical response to antipsychotic treatment was defined as a 50% reduction of either the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale total score or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale total score at approximately 8 weeks of follow-up evaluation. Odds ratio was the primary effect-size measure and computed for each polymorphism in each study. Sufficient data were available for two DRD2 polymorphisms: -141C Ins/Del and Taq1A.


Six studies reported results for the -141C Ins/Del polymorphism (total sample size: N=687). The Del allele carrier was significantly associated with poorer antipsychotic drug response relative to the Ins/Ins genotype. Eight studies assessed the Taq1A polymorphism and antipsychotic response (total sample size: N=748). There was no significant difference in the response rate among A1 allele carriers relative to individuals with the A2/A2 genotype or A2 allele carriers relative to individuals with the A1/A1 genotype.


The DRD2 genetic variation is associated with clinical response to antipsychotic drug treatment. These data may provide proof-of-principle for pharmacogenetic studies in schizophrenia.

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