D2 dopamine receptor (DRD2) gene Taq1A polymorphism and the eating-related psychological traits in eating disorders (anorexia nervosa and bulimia) and obesity

E. Nisoli, Amelia Brunani, E. Borgomainerio, C. Tonello, L. Dioni, L. Briscini, G. Redaelli, E. Molinari, F. Cavagnini, M. O. Carruba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: Food is considered a reinforcing agent, like a variety of substances such as alcohol and other drugs of abuse that produce pleasure. Psychopathological traits related to food intake are demonstrated in eating disorders as in obesity with different genetic aspects for these diseases. Recently, the prevalence of TaqA1 allele has been associated to alcohol, drug abuse and carbohydrate preference. For this reason, the aim of this study was to evaluate if the presence of A1 allele, in eating disorders and obesity, is associated with some particular psycho-pathological characteristics. METHODS: We studied the presence of TaqA1 in Italian subjects affected by obesity (n=71), anorexia (n=28), bulimia (n=20) and in control group (n=54). The Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI test) was used to evaluate the psychological profiles. Patients without alcohol and drugs abuse were selected (>125 ml/day). RESULTS: The A1+ allele, both in A1/A1 and A1/A2 genotypes, was not differently distributed among disease groups; on the contrary two EDI subscales (Drive for thinness and Ineffectiveness) resulted associated with A1+ allele without effect of the eating disease or obesity. CONCLUSION: These results confirm that the presence of A1+ allele is not simply related to body weight but the A1+ allele might be a marker of a genetic psychological condition in people with high risk to develop pathological eating behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007



  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • D2 receptor gene
  • Obesity
  • Polymorphism
  • RFLP
  • TaqIA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine(all)

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