Genetic markers associated with abstinence length in alcohol-dependent subjects treated with acamprosate

V. M. Karpyak, J. M. Biernacka, J. R. Geske, G. D. Jenkins, J. M. Cunningham, J. Rüegg, O. Kononenko, A. A. Leontovich, O. A. Abulseoud, D. K. Hall-Flavin, L. L. Loukianova, T. D. Schneekloth, M. K. Skime, J. Frank, M. M. Nöthen, M. Rietschel, F. Kiefer, K. F. Mann, R. M. Weinshilboum, M. A. FryeD. S. Choi

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39 Scopus citations


Acamprosate supports abstinence in some alcohol-dependent subjects, yet predictors of response are unknown. To identify response biomarkers, we investigated associations of abstinence length with polymorphisms in candidate genes in glycine and glutamate neurotransmission pathways and genes previously implicated in acamprosate response. Association analyses were conducted in the discovery sample of 225 alcohol-dependent subjects treated with acamprosate for 3 months in community-based treatment programs in the United States. Data from 110 alcohol-dependent males treated with acamprosate in the study PREDICT were used for replication of the top association findings. Statistical models were adjusted for relevant covariates, including recruitment site and baseline clinical variables associated with response. In the discovery sample, shorter abstinence was associated with increased intensity of alcohol craving and lower number of days between the last drink and initiation of acamprosate treatment. After adjustment for covariates, length of abstinence was associated with the GRIN2B rs2058878 (P=4.6 × 10(-5)). In the replication sample, shorter abstinence was associated with increased craving, increased depressive mood score and higher alcohol consumption. Association of abstinence length with GRIN2B rs2058878 was marginally significant (P=0.0675); as in the discovery sample, the minor A allele was associated with longer abstinence. Furthermore, rs2300272, which is in strong linkage disequilibrium with rs2058878, was also associated with abstinence length (P=0.049). This is the first report of a replicated association of genetic markers with the length of abstinence in acamprosate-treated alcoholics. Investigation of the underlying mechanisms of this association and its usefulness for individualized treatment selection should follow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e462
JournalTranslational psychiatry
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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