Association between a dopamine-4 receptor polymorphism and blood pressure

Srijan Sen, Randolph Nesse, Li Sheng, Scott F. Stoltenberg, Lillian Gleiberman, Margit Burmeister, Alan B. Weder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Dopamine receptor genes are candidates for hypertension susceptibility. Locally released dopamine increases renal sodium excretion, and defective renal dopamine receptor signaling has been shown to play a role in hypertension. Dopamine-4 receptors are expressed in juxtaglomerular and cortical collecting cells, where dopamine activation could alter sodium and water metabolism and affect blood pressure (BP). The dopamine-4 receptor (DRD4) gene has a 16 amino acid (48 base pairs [bp]) repeat polymorphism located in exon 3 where a G-protein binding area is encoded. The long allele (defined as at least one 7 to 10 repeat) has been associated with the personality trait Novelty Seeking and with substance abuse, but associations between dopamine-4 receptor polymorphisms and BP have not been reported. Methods: We genotyped 479 female and 385 male subjects of white ethnicity at the DRD4 repeat polymorphism site and classified each subject as having either the long or short genotype. Results: We found associations between the DRD4 long allele and increased systolic BP (P = .031), diastolic BP (P = .034), and a history of regular alcohol use (P = .008). Furthermore, for systolic BP (P = .009) and pulse pressure (P = .002), we found evidence for an interaction between dopamine-4 receptor alleles and age, indicating that the effects of dopamine-4 receptor variants on BP increase with age. Conclusion: In this white population, the long variant of the DRD4 gene is associated with a 3-mm Hg higher systolic and 2-mm Hg higher diastolic BP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1206-1210
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Alcohol
  • Blood pressure
  • Dopamine receptor
  • Genetic polymorphism
  • Hypertension
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Association between a dopamine-4 receptor polymorphism and blood pressure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this