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Mol Psychiatry. 2004 Mar;9(3):293-8.

Association in Japanese patients between neuroleptic malignant syndrome and functional polymorphisms of the dopamine D(2) receptor gene.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan.


A genetic predisposition to the development of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) has been suggested by clinical studies. Although the molecular basis of NMS is unclear, a dopaminergic blockade mechanism has been considered the main cause. We therefore investigated the association between NMS and three functional polymorphisms of the dopamine D(2) receptor (DRD(2)) gene: TaqI A, -141C Ins/Del, and Ser311Cys. Subjects included 32 Japanese patients, previously diagnosed with NMS, and 132 schizophrenic patients treated with neuroleptics without occurrence of NMS. Polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses were performed to determine each genotype. We found significant differences in genotypic and allelic frequencies of the -141C Ins/Del polymorphism between patients with and without NMS. The -141C Del allele was significantly more frequent in the NMS group (23.4 vs 11.7%, P=0.026). Similarly, the proportion of -141C Del allele carriers was significantly higher in the NMS group (40.6 vs 20.5%, P=0.022). No significant differences between the two groups were seen for allelic and genotypic frequencies of the TaqI A and Ser311Cys polymorphisms. This result suggests that the -141C Ins/Del polymorphism is likely to predispose toward the development of NMS, probably together with other unidentified factors.

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