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No allelic association between harm avoidance and the debrisoquine 4-hydroxylase gene

  • Adriaan H Veefkind (a1), Theo J M Ingenhoven (a1) and Izaäk W De Groot (a1)



Several reports suggest that variance in personality traits is inherited, but little is known about the genes responsible. It has been suggested that there is a relationship between personality characteristics and the gene responsible for the activity of the enzyme debrisoquine 4-hydroxylase (CYP2D6).


To examine the proportion of poor metabolizers in a group of personality disordered patients.


Blood samples were obtained from 23 patients with a high or very high score on the dimension ‘harm avoidance’ of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). The samples were genotyped for the null alleles CYP2D6*3 and*4 by performing an allele-specific polymerase chain reaction.


The frequencies of genotypes in the sample were very similar to the frequencies found in a general white population.


The investigation produced no support for the idea that the CYP2D6 gene is related to personality by means of variations in the temperament dimension of harm avoidance.


Corresponding author

Dr I.W. de Groot, Psychologist, Symfora Groep, locatie Zon & Schild, Afdeling Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, Medisch Centrum, PO Box 3051, 3800 DB Amersfoort, the Netherlands. Tel: +33 4609568; Fax: +33 4609576; E-mail:


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