Evidence from animal models and from recent reports on the efficacy of the opioid antagonist naltrexone in the treatment of alcoholism suggests that the endogenous opioid systems may play a role in alcohol seeking behavior. The gene encoding preproenkephalin A (PENK) is flanked at its 3' end by a polymorphic (CA)(n) repeat. We determined the allele frequencies for this locus in samples of Chinese and Atayal living in Taiwan, Caucasians living in the United States and Byelorussia, and African-Americans living in the United States. We compared the allele frequencies of nonalcoholics in each population with those of alcoholics with or without alcohol-induced organ pathology. There was no difference in allele frequencies within any racial group when alcoholics with or without organ pathology were compared; there was also no difference in allele frequency between nonalcoholics and alcoholics within the two Asian populations, Caucasians, or African- Americans. There were highly significant differences in the frequency of the various length polymorphisms between the Asian, Caucasian, and African- American samples.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research|
|State||Published - Jun 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)