Onset of alcohol use at an early age increases the risk for later alcohol dependence. We investigated the role of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene (NR3C1) in onset of alcohol use and abuse in 14-year-old adolescents (n=4534). Several NR3C1 polymorphisms were associated with onset of alcohol drinking or drunkenness at this age. Strongest associations were observed in females, with one marker (rs244465) remaining significant after correction for multiple testing (P(adj) =0.0067; odds ratio=1.7, for drunkenness). Our data provide the first evidence that GR modulates initiation of alcohol abuse and reveal a polymorphism that might contribute to susceptibility to addiction.
Cites: Am J Psychiatry. 2000 May;157(5):745-5010784467