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J Psychiatr Res. 2012 Jun;46(6):733-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.02.016. Epub 2012 Mar 24.

The dopamine b-hydroxylase 19 bp insertion/deletion polymorphism was associated with first-episode but not medicated chronic schizophrenia.

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  • 1Research Center for Diabetic Complication, The Second Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, China.



Numerous studies report dysfunctional dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurotransmission in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) is an intracellular enzyme catalyzing the conversion of dopamine to noradrenaline. Functional polymorphisms have been reported in the promoter region of DBH gene, including a 19 bp insertion/deletion polymorphism. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there was an association between the functional polymorphism (DBH5'-Ins/Del) and schizophrenia in a Han Chinese population.


This polymorphism was genotyped in 221 first-episode schizophrenics, 360 chronic schizophrenics and 318 healthy controls using a case-control design. We assessed their psychopathology using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).


We showed that the DBH5'-Ins/Del deletion (Del) allelic and genotypic frequencies were significantly lower in controls than first-episode of schizophrenics (FES) (both p < 0.001), but controls were not different from chronic schizophrenics. Furthermore, the PANSS positive symptom and total scores were significantly higher in FES with the Del/Del genotype than those with Ins/Del and Ins/Ins genotypes (all p < 0.05).


The DBH5'-Ins/Del polymorphism may play a role in susceptibility to the positive symptoms of FES and to these FES not progressing on to chronic schizophrenia.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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