Genetic basis of sleep bruxism and sleep apnea—response to a medical puzzle

Mieszko Wieckiewicz*, Katarzyna Bogunia-Kubik, Grzegorz Mazur, Dariusz Danel, Joanna Smardz, Anna Wojakowska, Rafal Poreba, Marta Dratwa, Monika Chaszczewska-Markowska, Efraim Winocur, Alona Emodi-Perlman, Helena Martynowicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sleep bruxism (SB) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are co-occurring sleep conditions. The study aimed to evaluate the association of selected single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) occurring within the genes of the serotonin and dopamine pathways in SB and OSA and investigate the relationship between them. The study group included 100 Caucasian patients. SB and OSA were diagnosed in 74 and 28 patients, respectively. In addition, 125 unrelated Caucasian healthy blood donors served as randomly selected controls to enable comparison of polymorphisms. The following SNPs were analyzed: rs2770304 and rs6313 within the serotonin receptor encoding gene (HTR2A), rs4680 polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, and rs686 within the dopamine receptor (DRD1) encoding gene. The prevalence of the DRD1 rs686 G variant (GG homozygosity) was found to be high in the study group compared to the control group. Bruxism episode index (BEI) was found to be significantly increased in the HTR2A rs6313 TT homozygotes compared to the heterozygous patients. Moreover, within a group of the HTR2A rs2770304 TT homozygous cases, a statistically significant correlation was observed between BEI and apnea–hypopnea index. These results indicate that DRD1 rs686 may potentially affect predisposition to SB, that HTR2A rs6313 SNP may be involved in SB pathogenesis, and that HTR2A rs2770304 polymorphism might contribute to the association between SB and OSA. This suggests a possible genetic contribution to the etiology of primary SB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7497
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020


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