Ghrelin precursor gene polymorphism and methamphetamine dependence in the Korean population

Su Jung Yoon, Chi Un Pae, Heejin Lee, Bomoon Choi, Tae Suk Kim, In Kyoon Lyoo, Do Hoon Kwon, Dai Jin Kim

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18 Scopus citations


Ghrelin is a recently isolated brain-gut peptide that has growth hormone-releasing and appetite-inducing activities. Several recent studies have suggested that ghrelin plays a major role in the pathophysiology of drug-seeking behavior and anxiety. Therefore, we assessed the effect of the ghrelin precursor polymorphism on methamphetamine dependence in the Korean population. One hundred and eighteen patients with methamphetamine dependence, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) criteria, and the 144 healthy controls were enrolled in this study. Genotyping for the ghrelin precursor polymorphism was performed by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism-based technique. The genotypic and allelic distributions of the ghrelin precursor polymorphism in the patients with methamphetamine dependence were not significantly different from those of the control subjects. However, the Met72 carriers were associated with the emotional problems of methamphetamine dependence. The patients with the Met72 allele were more depressed and anxious than the homozygous patients with the wild Leu72 allele. The present study suggests that the ghrelin precursor polymorphism may not confer a susceptibility to the development of methamphetamine dependence in the Korean population. However, the Leu72Met polymorphism could have a potential role in the emotional problems that are associated with this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-395
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant of the Korea Health 21 R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A040042).


  • Ghrelin precursor
  • Korean
  • Methamphetamine dependence
  • Polymorphism
  • Proproghrelin


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