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BackgroundWe conducted a meta-analysis to re-evaluate the role of the dopamine D4 receptor gene 48-base-pair- repeat (DRD4) polymorphism in mood disorders.MethodsDRD4 allele frequencies were compared between 917 patients with unipolar (UP) or bipolar affective disorder (BP) and 1164 control subjects from 12 samples, using the Cochrane Review Manager.ResultsAn association was found between all mood disorder groups and DRD4.2. After correcting for multiple testing, the association between DRD4.2 and BP dropped to insignificance; however, the evidence of an association between the DRD4.2 allele and UP (p < .001) and the combined group (p < .001) remained. There was no evidence for heterogeneity or publication bias.ConclusionsThese findings suggest that the DRD4.2 allele is a risk allele for depression symptomatology. Meta-analysis may be a valuable objective tool for a quantitative summary of evidence for association studies in psychiatric genetics.

Original publication




Journal article


Biological psychiatry

Publication Date





999 - 1003


Genetic Epidemiology Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Humans, Receptors, Dopamine D2, Confidence Intervals, Odds Ratio, Case-Control Studies, Mood Disorders, Minisatellite Repeats, Gene Frequency, Polymorphism, Genetic, Alleles, Receptors, Dopamine D4