Positive genetic associations of rs6313 (102T/C at exon 1) and rs6311 (-1438A/G) on the 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) 2A receptor gene (HTR2A or 5-HT2A) were reported for alcohol and drug abuse; however, other association studies failed to produce consistent results supporting the susceptibility of the two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). To clarify the associations of the HTR2A gene with substance use disorders, we performed a meta-analysis based on the genotypes from the available candidate gene association studies of the two SNPs with alcohol and drug abuse from multiple populations. Evidence of association was found for HTR2A rs6313 in all the combined studies (e.g., allelic P = 0.0048 and OR 0.86, 95 % CI 0.77-0.95) and also in the combined studies of alcohol dependence (abuse) (e.g., allelic P = 0.0001 and OR 0.71, 95 % CI 0.59-0.85). The same association trend was also observed in the Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment datasets. The meta-analysis supports a contribution of the HTR2A gene to the susceptibility to substance use disorders, particularly alcohol dependence.
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