Recent investigations suggest that genetic susceptibility to alcohol dependence may be conferred by GABAA receptor subunit genes. In this study, three RFLPs at the GABAAβ2, GABAAα6, GABAAα1 and two at the GABAAγ2 receptor subunit genes, were examined for association with alcohol dependence in 189 subjects meeting DSM-III-R criteria for this disorder and 152 unrelated controls from a Japanese population. The results demonstrated no association between the AlwNI RFLP at the GABAAα6 receptor subunit gene and alcohol dependence (P = 0.059). However, the NciI RFLP at the GABAAγ2 receptor subunit gene was associated with alcohol dependence comorbid with antisocial personality disorder (P = 0.021). This supports a recent finding reporting an association between the GABAAγ2 receptor subunit gene and alcohol dependence with criminal record in a Finnish population. Taking into account the effects of multiple comparisons, this result should be interpreted with caution pending replication.