Genes (2017-07-01)

Genetic Contribution to Alcohol Dependence: Investigation of a Heterogeneous German Sample of Individuals with Alcohol Dependence, Chronic Alcoholic Pancreatitis, and Alcohol-Related Cirrhosis

  • Jens Treutlein,
  • Josef Frank,
  • Fabian Streit,
  • Céline S. Reinbold,
  • Dilafruz Juraeva,
  • Franziska Degenhardt,
  • Liz Rietschel,
  • Stephanie H. Witt,
  • Andreas J. Forstner,
  • Monika Ridinger,
  • Jana Strohmaier,
  • Norbert Wodarz,
  • Helene Dukal,
  • Jerome C. Foo,
  • Per Hoffmann,
  • Stefan Herms,
  • Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach,
  • Michael Soyka,
  • Wolfgang Maier,
  • Wolfgang Gaebel,
  • Norbert Dahmen,
  • Norbert Scherbaum,
  • Bertram Müller-Myhsok,
  • Susanne Lucae,
  • Marcus Ising,
  • Felix Stickel,
  • Thomas Berg,
  • Ulla Roggenbuck,
  • Karl-Heinz Jöckel,
  • Henrike Scholz,
  • Ulrich S. Zimmermann,
  • Stephan Buch,
  • Wolfgang H. Sommer,
  • Rainer Spanagel,
  • Benedikt Brors,
  • Sven Cichon,
  • Karl Mann,
  • Falk Kiefer,
  • Jochen Hampe,
  • Jonas Rosendahl,
  • Markus M. Nöthen,
  • Marcella Rietschel

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 7
p. 183


Read online

The present study investigated the genetic contribution to alcohol dependence (AD) using genome-wide association data from three German samples. These comprised patients with: (i) AD; (ii) chronic alcoholic pancreatitis (ACP); and (iii) alcohol-related liver cirrhosis (ALC). Single marker, gene-based, and pathway analyses were conducted. A significant association was detected for the ADH1B locus in a gene-based approach (puncorrected = 1.2 × 10−6; pcorrected = 0.020). This was driven by the AD subsample. No association with ADH1B was found in the combined ACP + ALC sample. On first inspection, this seems surprising, since ADH1B is a robustly replicated risk gene for AD and may therefore be expected to be associated also with subgroups of AD patients. The negative finding in the ACP + ALC sample, however, may reflect genetic stratification as well as random fluctuation of allele frequencies in the cases and controls, demonstrating the importance of large samples in which the phenotype is well assessed.