Aims. Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a disorder of complex etiopathogenesis. Both genetic and environmental factors are of great value. A significant genetic contribution to this disorder is marked by family and twin studies. Many clinical studies have shown that amphetamine, an indirect agonist of the dopaminergic system, is an anorectic agent, which means that it suppresses appetite and food intake. Thus, we studied candidate genes of the dopaminergic system (theoretically associated with the etiology of given disorder) with reference to anorexia nervosa. The aim of the present study was to assess the influence of genes polymorphisms coding dopamine receptors DRD 2 (polimorphisms-141C Ins/Dei), DRD 4 (polimorphisms-521 C/T), dopamine transporter DAT (polimorphisms VNTR w 3'UTR) and catechol-O-methyltransferase COMT (polimorphisms Val 158Met) on the risk of anorexia nervosa.
Method. The studied group comprised of 86-91 unrelated patients fulfilling the DSM-IV and ICD-10 criteria of anorexia nervosa (both restricted and bulimic type) and 77-135 controls. All individuals participating in this study were Polish, mostly from the Wielkopolska region. Genotyping of the DRD2, DRD4 and COMT polymorphisms was performed using the PCR-RPLF and of the DAT using the PCR-VNTR method. Statistical analysis of genotype and allele frequencies was performed with the Pearson's X² and Fisher's exact tests, respectively. An analysis of the power estimation as well as the concordance between the genotype distribution and the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was performed.
Review. No significant associations between the polymorphisms under study and anorexia nervosa of both type were proved.
Conclusions. Reported findings do not indicate a possible role of the dopaminergic system genes in predispositions to anorexia nervosa.