Genetic variation in the dopamine pathway and smoking cessation

SP David, MR Munafo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Twin and family studies have established that genetic factors account for much of the variation in tobacco dependence. Therefore, identification of genetic variants predictive of successful smoking cessation has implications for the future prospect of personalized smoking cessation therapies. Converging data implicate the dopamine pathway as an important neural substrate for tobacco dependence. Several candidate genes within the dopamine pathway (e.g., DRD2 and COMT) have been reported to be associated with the efficacy of bupropion and nicotine replacement therapy, and others (e.g., SLC6A3 and DRD4) have been reported to be associated with smoking cessation independent of pharmacotherapy. However, few of these candidate genes are present within regions of suggestive or significant linkage or overlap with genome-wide linkage or association studies of tobacco dependence or smoking cessation. Future studies should seek to replicate genome-wide association analyses with individual-level genotyping, and use better-defined smoking cessation phenotypes. Once robust evidence for association is established, which may take several more years, further research into the likely cost-effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability of personalized medicine for smoking cessation will be necessary before it can be translated into practice.
Translated title of the contributionGenetic variation in the dopamine pathway and smoking cessation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1307 - 1321
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


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