Effects of OPRM1 and DRD2 on brain structure in drug-naïve adolescents: Genetic and neural vulnerabilities to substance use

Giorgia Picci, Diana H. Fishbein, John W. VanMeter, Emma J. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Genetic variants in the opioid receptor mu 1 (OPRM1) and dopamine receptor d2 (DRD2) genes are implicated in behavioral phenotypes related to substance use disorders (SUD). Despite associations among OPRM1 (rs179971) and DRD2 (rs6277) genes and structural alterations in neural reward pathways implicated in SUDs, little is known about the contribution of risk-related gene variants to structural neurodevelopment. In a 3-year longitudinal study of initially SU-naïve adolescents (N = 129; 70 females; 11–14 years old), participants underwent an MRI structural scan at baseline and provided genetic assays for OPRM1 and DRD2 with SU behavior assessed during follow-up visits. Baseline differences in key reward-related brain regions (i.e., bilateral caudate and cingulate cortex) were detected in those with genetic liability for SU in OPRM1 who went onto engage in SU at subsequent waves of data collection. In addition, main effects of OPRM1, DRD2, and SU were related to variability in structure of the putamen, anterior cingulate, and nucleus accumbens, respectively. These data provide preliminary evidence that genetic risk factors interact with future SU to confer structural variability prior to SU in regions commonly implicated in risk for SU and the development of SUDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-152
Number of pages12
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume239
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology

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