Lack of association between serotonin-2A receptor gene (HTR2A) polymorphisms and tardive dyskinesia in schizophrenia

V. S. Basile, V. Ozdemir, M. Masellis, H. Y. Meltzer, J. A. Lieberman, S. G. Potkin, F. M. Macciardi, A. Petronis, J. L. Kennedy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a disabling neurological side effect associated with long-term treatment with typical antipsychotics. Family studies and animal models lend evidence for hereditary predisposition to TD. The newer atypical antipsychotics pose a minimal risk for TD which is in part attributed to their ability to block the serotonin-2A (5-HT2A) receptor. 5-HT2A receptors were also identified in the basal ganglia; a brain region that plays a critical role in antipsychotic-induced movement disorders. We tested the significance of variation in the 5-HT2A receptor gene (HTR2A) in relation to the TD phenotype. Three polymorphisms in HTR2A, one silent (C102T), one that alters the amino acid sequence (his452tyr) and one in the promoter region (A-1437G) were investigated in 136 patients refractory or intolerant to treatment with typical antipsychotics and with a DSM-IIIR diagnosis of schizophrenia. We did not find any significant difference in allele, genotype or haplotype frequencies of polymorphisms in HTR2A among patients with or without TD (P>0.05). Further analysis using the ANCOVA statistic with a continuous measure of the TD phenotype (Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) score) found that the AIMS scores were not significantly influenced by HTR2A polymorphisms, despite controlling for potential confounders such as age, gender and ethnicity (P>0.05). Theoretically, central serotonergic function can be subject to genetic control at various other mechanistic levels including the rate of serotonin synthesis (tryptophane hydroxylase gene), release, reuptake (serotonin transporter gene) and degradation (monoamine oxidase gene). Analyses of these other serotonergic genes are indicated. In summary, polymorphisms in HTR2A do not appear to influence the risk for TD. Further studies evaluating in tandem multiple candidate genes relevant for the serotonergic system are warranted to dissect the genetic basis of the complex TD phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-234
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Antipsychotics
  • Genetic association
  • Genetic polymorphism
  • HTR2A
  • Receptor
  • Serotonin
  • Tardive dyskinesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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