Image_1_Association Between DRD2 and DRD4 Polymorphisms and Eating Disorders in an Italian Population.pdf (21.68 kB)
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Image_1_Association Between DRD2 and DRD4 Polymorphisms and Eating Disorders in an Italian Population.pdf

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posted on 14.03.2022, 14:21 authored by Maria Rachele Ceccarini, Simona Fittipaldi, Cinzia Ciccacci, Erika Granese, Federica Centofanti, Laura Dalla Ragione, Matteo Bertelli, Tommaso Beccari, Annalisa Botta

Anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge eating disorder (BED) are the three most common eating disorders (EDs). Their etiopathogenesis is multifactorial where both the environmental and genetic factors contribute to the disease outcome and severity. Several polymorphisms in genes involved in the dopaminergic pathways seem to be relevant in the susceptibility to EDs, but their role has not been fully elucidated yet. In this study, we have analyzed the association between selected common polymorphisms in the DRD2 and DRD4 genes in a large cohort of Italian patients affected by AN (n = 332), BN (n = 122), and BED (n = 132) compared to healthy controls (CTRs) (n = 172). Allelic and genotypic frequencies have been also correlated with the main psychopathological and clinical comorbidities often observed in patients. Our results showed significant associations of the DRD2-rs6277 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) with AN and BN, of the DRD4-rs936461 SNP with BN and BED and of DRD4 120-bp tandem repeat (TR) polymorphism (SS plus LS genotypes) with BED susceptibility. Moreover, genotyping of DRD4 48-bp variable number TR (VNTR) identified the presence of ≥7R alleles as risk factors to develop each type of EDs. The study also showed that ED subjects with a history of drugs abuse were characterized by a significantly higher frequency of the DRD4 rs1800955 TT genotype and DRD4 120-bp TR short-allele. Our findings suggest that specific combinations of variants in the DRD2 and DRD4 genes are predisposing factors not only for EDs but also for some psychopathological features often coupled specifically to AN, BN, and BED. Further functional research studies are needed to better clarify the complex role of these proteins and to develop novel therapeutic compounds based on dopamine modulation.