Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 550–553 | Cite as

Family-Based Association Analysis of Serotonin Genes in Pathological Gambling Disorder: Evidence of Vulnerability Risk in the 5HT-2A Receptor Gene

  • David Wilson
  • Daniela Sabbatini da Silva Lobo
  • Hermano Tavares
  • Valentim Gentil
  • Homero Vallada


Pathological gambling (PG) has become a growing public health problem in many countries around the world. PG is an impulse control disorder and its behavior and psychopathology present similarities with substance abuse disorders. Evidence from twin studies supports a significant genetic predisposition to PG, but the precise genetic loci still remain unclear. The present study investigates the allele and genotype distribution of polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter, serotonin receptor 1B and 2A genes in 140 sib-pairs discordant for the diagnosis of PG. A significant association of the C/C genotype of the serotonin receptor 2A T102C (rs 6313) polymorphism and the PG phenotype was observed [OR = 1.7 (1.1–3.4)]. This preliminary result is consistent with the hypothesis that the serotonin system is associated with addiction behavior and similar results have been reported for nicotine and alcohol dependence.


Serotonin genes Pathological gambling Behavioral addiction Risk factor 



We would like to acknowledge the São Paulo Research Funding Agency (government agency, FAPESP, projects 02/026537; 02/00009-3) for financial support. We thank Dr Elizabete Miracca from the Programme of Genetics and Pharmacogenetics (ProGene) at Institute of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo for genotyping supervision and the Gambling Outpatient Unit group in São Paulo for help with data collection.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Wilson
    • 1
  • Daniela Sabbatini da Silva Lobo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hermano Tavares
    • 1
  • Valentim Gentil
    • 1
  • Homero Vallada
    • 1
  1. 1.Department and Institute of Psychiatry (LIM 23)University of Sao Paulo Medical SchoolSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Neurogenetics SectionUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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