Review

Molecular Genetics and Genomics

, Volume 289, Issue 3, pp 253-269

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Genetics and genomics of alcohol sensitivity

  • Tatiana V. MorozovaAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences and W. M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology, North Carolina State University
  • , Trudy F. C. MackayAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences and W. M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology, North Carolina State University
  • , Robert R. H. AnholtAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences and W. M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology, North Carolina State University Email author 

Abstract

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism incur a heavy socioeconomic cost in many countries. Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to variation in the inebriating effects of alcohol and alcohol addiction among individuals within and across populations. From a genetics perspective, alcohol sensitivity is a quantitative trait determined by the cumulative effects of multiple segregating genes and their interactions with the environment. This review summarizes insights from model organisms as well as human populations that represent our current understanding of the genetic and genomic underpinnings that govern alcohol metabolism and the sedative and addictive effects of alcohol on the nervous system.

Keywords

Addiction Behavioral genetics Genome-wide association Quantitative trait loci Meta-analysis