Epistatic interaction between COMT and DAT1 genes on eating behavior: A pilot study

Samantha L. Hersrud, Scott F. Stoltenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Problems related to food and weight in women may be influenced by the (DA) dopamine system. Catechol-o-methyl transferase (COMT) and the dopamine transporter (DAT) exert control on concentrations of extracellular DA. High and low functioning alleles of the COMT Val158Met and DAT1 3' UTR VNTR polymorphisms have been identified, and their associations with reward and cognition suggest a role in the modulation of eating behavior. A sample of undergraduate college women (N = 71) was characterized for binge eating and eating psychopathology and genotyped for the COMT and DAT1 markers. Results revealed a significant epistatic interaction between COMT and DAT1 genes on eating psychopathology and binge eating (p = .02 for both). This suggests that genetic studies of risk for maladaptive eating behavior involving the dopamine system should explicitly consider epistasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-133
Number of pages3
JournalEating Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Catechol-o-methyl transferase
  • Dopamine transporter
  • Eating disorders
  • Epistasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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