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Eur J Pharmacol. 2000 Dec 27;410(2-3):215-226.

Polymorphisms in genes involved in neurotransmission in relation to smoking.

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Department of Medical Genetics, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Tsukuba, Japan.


Smoking behavior is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. The genetic contribution to smoking behavior is at least as great as its contribution to alcoholism. Much progress has been achieved in genomic research related to cigarette-smoking within recent years. Linkage studies indicate that there are several loci linked to smoking, and candidate genes that are related to neurotransmission have been examined. Possible associated genes include cytochrome P450 subfamily polypeptide 6 (CYP2A6), dopamine D(1), D(2), and D(4) receptors, dopamine transporter, and serotonin transporter genes. There are other important candidate genes but studies evaluating the link with smoking have not been reported. These include genes encoding the dopamine D(3) and D(5) receptors, serotonin receptors, tyrosine hydroxylase, trytophan 2,3-dioxygenase, opioid receptors, and cannabinoid receptors. Since smoking-related factors are extremely complex, studies of diverse populations and of many aspects of smoking behavior including initiation, maintenance, cessation, relapse, and influence of environmental factors are needed to identify smoking-associated genes. We now review genetic polymorphisms reported to be involved in neurotransmission in relation to smoking.

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