The DRD4 VNTR polymorphism influences reactivity to smoking cues

Kent E. Hutchison, Heather LaChance, Raymond Niaura, Angela Bryan, Andrew Smolen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent research has indicated that craving for tobacco can be reliably elicited by exposure to smoking cues, suggesting that cue-elicited craving for tobacco may be a useful phenotype for research on genetic factors related to nicotine dependence. Given the potential role of dopamine in cue-elicited craving, the authors examined whether the DRD4 VNTR polymorphism is associated with cue-elicited craving for tobacco. Participants who were homozygous or heterozygous for the 7 repeat (or longer) allele were classified as DRD4 L, and all other participants were classified as DRD4 S. Participants were exposed to smoking cues before smoking either high-nicotine cigarettes or control cigarettes. Analyses suggested that participants in the L group demonstrated significantly greater craving, more arousal, less positive affect, and more attention to the smoking cues than did the participants in the S group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-143
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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