Alopecia areata is thought to be a T-cell mediated and cytokine mediated autoimmune disease that results in non-scarring hair loss. Poliosis has been described as a localized depigmentation of hair caused by a deficiency of melanin in hair follicles. A 57-year-old man with a history of alopecia areata developed white hair regrowth in areas of previous hair loss. We retrospectively reviewed the medical literature using PubMed, searching: (1) alopecia areata and (2) poliosis. Poliosis may be associated with autoimmune diseases including alopecia areata, as described in our case. However, it is also reported in patients who have cutaneous lesions, genetic syndromes, infections, medication use, and trauma. Hair regrowth following alopecia areata may be associated with poliosis. We hypothesize that the incidence of poliosis in areas of previous alopecia areata-related hair loss may be greater than reflected in the published literature.
Cognitive and functional impairments are core features of schizophrenia. This study examined the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype and its relationship to cognition and functional capacity in 188 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. We found that in a dose-response fashion, individuals with more Met alleles performed significantly better on tests of learning/memory and abstraction. The effects of COMT genotype on cognition were modest, explaining about 3% of the variance in learning/memory and abstraction. Larger studies will be needed to examine the relationships between COMT and other genes and cognitive performance and everyday functioning.
Bipolar disorder is one of the most common and devastating psychiatric disorders whose mechanisms remain largely unknown. Despite a strong genetic contribution demonstrated by twin and adoption studies, a polygenic background influences this multifactorial and heterogeneous psychiatric disorder. To identify susceptibility genes on a severe and more familial sub-form of the disease, we conducted a genome-wide association study focused on 211 patients of French origin with an early age at onset and 1,719 controls, and then replicated our data on a German sample of 159 patients with early-onset bipolar disorder and 998 controls. Replication study and subsequent meta-analysis revealed two genes encoding proteins involved in phosphoinositide signalling pathway (PLEKHA5 and PLCXD3). We performed additional replication studies in two datasets from the WTCCC (764 patients and 2,938 controls) and the GAIN-TGen cohorts (1,524 patients and 1,436 controls) and found nominal P-values both in the PLCXD3 and PLEKHA5 loci with the WTCCC sample. In addition, we identified in the French cohort one affected individual with a deletion at the PLCXD3 locus and another one carrying a missense variation in PLCXD3 (p.R93H), both supporting a role of the phosphatidylinositol pathway in early-onset bipolar disorder vulnerability. Although the current nominally significant findings should be interpreted with caution and need replication in independent cohorts, this study supports the strategy to combine genetic approaches to determine the molecular mechanisms underlying bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a psychiatric illness defined by pathological alterations between the mood states of mania and depression, causing disability, imposing healthcare costs and elevating the risk of suicide. Although effective treatments for BD exist, variability in outcomes leads to a large number of treatment failures, typically followed by a trial and error process of medication switches that can take years. Pharmacogenetic testing (PGT), by tailoring drug choice to an individual, may personalize and expedite treatment so as to identify more rapidly medications well suited to individual BD patients.
People called night owls habitually have late bedtimes and late times of arising, sometimes suffering a heritable circadian disturbance called delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS). Those with DSPS, those with more severe progressively-late non-24-hour sleep-wake cycles, and those with bipolar disorder may share genetic tendencies for slowed or delayed circadian cycles. We searched for polymorphisms associated with DSPS in a case-control study of DSPS research participants and a separate study of Sleep Center patients undergoing polysomnography. In 45 participants, we resequenced portions of 15 circadian genes to identify unknown polymorphisms that might be associated with DSPS, non-24-hour rhythms, or bipolar comorbidities. We then genotyped single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in both larger samples, using Illumina Golden Gate assays. Associations of SNPs with the DSPS phenotype and with the morningness-eveningness parametric phenotype were computed for both samples, then combined for meta-analyses. Delayed sleep and "eveningness" were inversely associated with loci in circadian genes NFIL3 (rs2482705) and RORC (rs3828057). A group of haplotypes overlapping BHLHE40 was associated with non-24-hour sleep-wake cycles, and less robustly, with delayed sleep and bipolar disorder (e.g., rs34883305, rs34870629, rs74439275, and rs3750275 were associated with n=37, p=4.58E-09, Bonferroni p=2.95E-06). Bright light and melatonin can palliate circadian disorders, and genetics may clarify the underlying circadian photoperiodic mechanisms. After further replication and identification of the causal polymorphisms, these findings may point to future treatments for DSPS, non-24-hour rhythms, and possibly bipolar disorder or depression.
The genetic cause of medullary cystic kidney disease type 1 was recently identified as a cytosine insertion in the variable number of tandem repeat region of MUC1 encoding mucoprotein-1 (MUC1), a protein that is present in skin, breast, and lung tissue, the gastrointestinal tract, and the distal tubules of the kidney. The purpose of this investigation was to analyze the clinical characteristics of families and individuals with this mutation.
Studies of bipolar disorder (BD) suggest a genetic basis of the illness that alters brain function and morphology. In recent years, a number of genetic variants associated with BD have been identified. However, little is known about the associated genes, or brain circuits that rely upon their function. Using an anatomically comprehensive survey of the human transcriptome (The Allen Brain Atlas), we mapped the expression of 58 genes with suspected involvement in BD based upon their relationship to SNPs identified in genome wide association studies (GWAS). We then conducted a meta-analysis of structural MRI studies to identify brain regions that are abnormal in BD. Of 58 BD associated genes, 22 had anatomically distinct expression patterns that could be categorized into one of three clusters (C1-C3). Brain regions with the highest and lowest expression of these genes did not overlap strongly with anatomical sites identified as abnormal by structural MRI except in the parahippocampal gyrus, the inferior/superior temporal gyrus and the cerebellar vermis, regions where overlap was significant. Using the 22 genes in C1-C3 as reference points, additional genes with correlated expression patterns were identified and organized into sets based on similarity. Further analysis revealed that five of these gene sets were significantly associated with BD, suggesting that anatomical expression profile is correlated with genetic susceptibility to BD, particularly for genes in C2. Our data suggest that expression profiles of BD-associated genes do not explain the majority of structural abnormalities observed in BD, but may be useful in identifying new candidate genes. Our results highlight the complex neuroanatomical basis of BD, and reinforce illness models that emphasize impaired brain connectivity.
The many attempts that have been made to identify genes for bipolar disorder (BD) have met with limited success, which may reflect an inadequacy of diagnosis as an informative and biologically relevant phenotype for genetic studies. Here we have explored aspects of personality as quantitative phenotypes for bipolar disorder through the use of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), which assesses personality in seven dimensions. Four temperament dimensions are assessed: novelty seeking (NS), harm avoidance (HA), reward dependence (RD), and persistence (PS). Three character dimensions are also included: self-directedness (SD), cooperativeness (CO), and self-transcendence (ST).
The many attempts to identify genes for bipolar disorder (BD) have met with limited success, which has generally been attributed to genetic heterogeneity and small gene effects. However, it is also possible that the categorical phenotypes used in genetic studies of BD are not the most informative or biologically relevant. We have explored aspects of temperament as quantitative phenotypes for BD through the use of the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris, and San Diego Auto-questionnaire (TEMPS-A), which is designed to assess lifelong, milder aspects of bipolar symptomatology and defines five temperaments: hyperthymic, dysthymic, cyclothymic, irritable, and anxious.
Several lines of evidence suggest that genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have the potential to explain more of the "missing heritability" of common complex phenotypes. However, reliable methods to identify a larger proportion of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that impact disease risk are currently lacking. Here, we use a genetic pleiotropy-informed conditional false discovery rate (FDR) method on GWAS summary statistics data to identify new loci associated with schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorders (BD), two highly heritable disorders with significant missing heritability. Epidemiological and clinical evidence suggest similar disease characteristics and overlapping genes between SCZ and BD. Here, we computed conditional Q-Q curves of data from the Psychiatric Genome Consortium (SCZ; n = 9,379 cases and n = 7,736 controls; BD: n = 6,990 cases and n = 4,820 controls) to show enrichment of SNPs associated with SCZ as a function of association with BD and vice versa with a corresponding reduction in FDR. Applying the conditional FDR method, we identified 58 loci associated with SCZ and 35 loci associated with BD below the conditional FDR level of 0.05. Of these, 14 loci were associated with both SCZ and BD (conjunction FDR). Together, these findings show the feasibility of genetic pleiotropy-informed methods to improve gene discovery in SCZ and BD and indicate overlapping genetic mechanisms between these two disorders.
Recent results indicate that genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have the potential to explain much of the heritability of common complex phenotypes, but methods are lacking to reliably identify the remaining associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We applied stratified False Discovery Rate (sFDR) methods to leverage genic enrichment in GWAS summary statistics data to uncover new loci likely to replicate in independent samples. Specifically, we use linkage disequilibrium-weighted annotations for each SNP in combination with nominal p-values to estimate the True Discovery Rate (TDR = 1-FDR) for strata determined by different genic categories. We show a consistent pattern of enrichment of polygenic effects in specific annotation categories across diverse phenotypes, with the greatest enrichment for SNPs tagging regulatory and coding genic elements, little enrichment in introns, and negative enrichment for intergenic SNPs. Stratified enrichment directly leads to increased TDR for a given p-value, mirrored by increased replication rates in independent samples. We show this in independent Crohns disease GWAS, where we find a hundredfold variation in replication rate across genic categories. Applying a well-established sFDR methodology we demonstrate the utility of stratification for improving power of GWAS in complex phenotypes, with increased rejection rates from 20% in height to 300% in schizophrenia with traditional FDR and sFDR both fixed at 0.05. Our analyses demonstrate an inherent stratification among GWAS SNPs with important conceptual implications that can be leveraged by statistical methods to improve the discovery of loci.
Most psychiatric disorders are moderately to highly heritable. The degree to which genetic variation is unique to individual disorders or shared across disorders is unclear. To examine shared genetic etiology, we use genome-wide genotype data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) for cases and controls in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We apply univariate and bivariate methods for the estimation of genetic variation within and covariation between disorders. SNPs explained 17-29% of the variance in liability. The genetic correlation calculated using common SNPs was high between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (0.68 ± 0.04 s.e.), moderate between schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (0.43 ± 0.06 s.e.), bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (0.47 ± 0.06 s.e.), and ADHD and major depressive disorder (0.32 ± 0.07 s.e.), low between schizophrenia and ASD (0.16 ± 0.06 s.e.) and non-significant for other pairs of disorders as well as between psychiatric disorders and the negative control of Crohns disease. This empirical evidence of shared genetic etiology for psychiatric disorders can inform nosology and encourages the investigation of common pathophysiologies for related disorders.
There are several indications that malfunctions of the circadian clock contribute to depression. To search for particular circadian gene polymorphisms associated with depression, diverse polymorphisms were genotyped in two samples covering a range of depressed volunteers and participants with normal mood.
The integration of research on neuroimaging and pharmacogenetics holds promise for improving treatment for neuropsychiatric conditions. Neuroimaging may provide a more sensitive early measure of treatment response in genetically defined patient groups, and could facilitate development of novel therapies based on an improved understanding of pathogenic mechanisms underlying pharmacogenetic associations. This review summarizes progress in efforts to incorporate neuroimaging into genetics and treatment research on major psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and addiction. Methodological challenges include: performing genetic analyses in small study populations used in imaging studies; inclusion of patients with psychiatric comorbidities; and the extensive variability across studies in neuroimaging protocols, neurobehavioral task probes, and analytic strategies. Moreover, few studies use pharmacogenetic designs that permit testing of genotype × drug effects. As a result of these limitations, few findings have been fully replicated. Future studies that pre-screen participants for genetic variants selected a priori based on drug metabolism and targets have the greatest potential to advance the science and practice of psychiatric treatment.
The use of clinical features to define subtypes of a disorder may aid in gene identification for complex diseases. In particular, clinical subtypes of mania may distinguish phenotypic subgroups of bipolar subjects that may also differ genetically. To assess this possibility, we performed a genome-wide association study using genotype data from the Bipolar Genome Study (BiGS) and subjects that were categorized as having either irritable or elated mania during their most severe episode. A bipolar case-only analysis in the GAIN bipolar sample identified several genomic regions that differed between irritable and elated subjects, the most significant of which was for 33 SNPs on chromosome 13q31 (peak p?=?2×10(-7)). This broad peak is in a relative gene desert over an unknown EST and between the SLITRK1 and SLITRK6 genes. Evidence for association to this region came predominantly from subjects in the sample that were originally collected as part of a family-based bipolar linkage study, rather than those collected as bipolar singletons. We then genotyped an additional sample of bipolar singleton cases and controls, and the analysis of irritable vs. elated mania in this new sample did not replicate our previous findings. However, this lack of replication is likely due to the presence of significant differences in terms of clinical co-morbity that were identified between these singleton bipolar cases and those that were selected from families segregating the disorder. Despite these clinical differences, analysis of the combined sample provided continued support for 13q31 and other regions from our initial analysis. Though genome-wide significance was not achieved, our results suggest that irritable mania results from a distinct set of genes, including a region on chromosome 13q31.
The assessment of response to lithium maintenance treatment in bipolar disorder (BD) is complicated by variable length of treatment, unpredictable clinical course, and often inconsistent compliance. Prospective and retrospective methods of assessment of lithium response have been proposed in the literature. In this study we report the key phenotypic measures of the "Retrospective Criteria of Long-Term Treatment Response in Research Subjects with Bipolar Disorder" scale currently used in the Consortium on Lithium Genetics (ConLiGen) study.
While it is known that rare copy-number variants (CNVs) contribute to risk for some neuropsychiatric disorders, the role of CNVs in bipolar disorder is unclear. Here, we reasoned that a contribution of CNVs to mood disorders might be most evident for de novo mutations. We performed a genome-wide analysis of de novo CNVs in a cohort of 788 trios. Diagnoses of offspring included bipolar disorder (n = 185), schizophrenia (n = 177), and healthy controls (n = 426). Frequencies of de novo CNVs were significantly higher in bipolar disorder as compared with controls (OR = 4.8 [1.4,16.0], p = 0.009). De novo CNVs were particularly enriched among cases with an age at onset younger than 18 (OR = 6.3 [1.7,22.6], p = 0.006). We also confirmed a significant enrichment of de novo CNVs in schizophrenia (OR = 5.0 [1.5,16.8], p = 0.007). Our results suggest that rare spontaneous mutations are an important contributor to risk for bipolar disorder and other major neuropsychiatric diseases.
It has been reported that rs4446909, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the promoter of acetylserotonin methyltransferase (ASMT), influences the expression of the ASMT enzyme. The common G allele is associated with lower ASMT activity, and therefore, diminishes conversion of N-acetylserotonin to melatonin. The G allele was associated with recurrent depressive disorder in a Polish group. ASMT might also affect bipolar relapse, given evidence that N-acetylserotonin might stimulate TRKB receptors, and TRKB may influence mood relapse in bipolar disorder. Additionally, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) polymorphisms have been reported associated with depression, perhaps through their influence upon N-acetylserotonin or melatonin synthesis.
Although a highly heritable and disabling disease, bipolar disorders (BD) genetic variants have been challenging to identify. We present new genotype data for 1,190 cases and 401 controls and perform a genome-wide association study including additional samples for a total of 2,191 cases and 1,434 controls. We do not detect genome-wide significant associations for individual loci; however, across all SNPs, we show an association between the power to detect effects calculated from a previous genome-wide association study and evidence for replication (P?=?1.5×10(-7)). To demonstrate that this result is not likely to be a false positive, we analyze replication rates in a large meta-analysis of height and show that, in a large enough study, associations replicate as a function of power, approaching a linear relationship. Within BD, SNPs near exons exhibit a greater probability of replication, supporting an enrichment of reproducible associations near functional regions of genes. These results indicate that there is likely common genetic variation associated with BD near exons (±10 kb) that could be identified in larger studies and, further, provide a framework for assessing the potential for replication when combining results from multiple studies.
The authors used a custom array of 1,536 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to interrogate 94 functionally relevant candidate genes for schizophrenia and identify associations with 12 heritable neurophysiological and neurocognitive endophenotypes in data collected by the Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia.
The treatment of bipolar depression is one of the most challenging issues in contemporary psychiatry. Currently only quetiapine and the olanzapine-fluoxetine combination are officially approved by the FDA against this condition. The neurobiology of bipolar depression and the possible targets of bipolar antidepressant therapy remain relatively elusive. We performed a complete and systematic review to identify agents with definite positive or negative results concerning efficacy followed by a second systematic review to identify the pharmacodynamic properties of these agents. The comparison of properties suggests that the stronger predictors for antidepressant efficacy in bipolar depression were norepinephrine alpha-1, dopamine D1 and histamine antagonism, followed by 5-HT2A, muscarinic and dopamine D2 and D3 antagonism and eventually by norepinephrine reuptake inhibition and 5HT-1A agonism. Serotonin reuptake which constitutes the cornerstone in unipolar depression treatment does not seem to play a significant role for bipolar depression. Our exhaustive review is compatible with a complex model with multiple levels of interaction between the major neurotransmitter systems without a single target being either necessary or sufficient to elicit the antidepressant effect in bipolar depression.
Both delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may manifest similar delayed circadian phase problems. However, the relationships and co-morbidity between the two conditions have not been fully studied. The authors examined the comorbidity between DSPS and SAD.
Rare copy number variants (CNVs) have a prominent role in the aetiology of schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Substantial risk for schizophrenia is conferred by large (>500-kilobase) CNVs at several loci, including microdeletions at 1q21.1 (ref. 2), 3q29 (ref. 3), 15q13.3 (ref. 2) and 22q11.2 (ref. 4) and microduplication at 16p11.2 (ref. 5). However, these CNVs collectively account for a small fraction (2-4%) of cases, and the relevant genes and neurobiological mechanisms are not well understood. Here we performed a large two-stage genome-wide scan of rare CNVs and report the significant association of copy number gains at chromosome 7q36.3 with schizophrenia. Microduplications with variable breakpoints occurred within a 362-kilobase region and were detected in 29 of 8,290 (0.35%) patients versus 2 of 7,431 (0.03%) controls in the combined sample. All duplications overlapped or were located within 89 kilobases upstream of the vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor gene VIPR2. VIPR2 transcription and cyclic-AMP signalling were significantly increased in cultured lymphocytes from patients with microduplications of 7q36.3. These findings implicate altered vasoactive intestinal peptide signalling in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and indicate the VPAC2 receptor as a potential target for the development of new antipsychotic drugs.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several susceptibility loci for bipolar disorder (BP), most notably ANK3. However, most of the inherited risk for BP remains unexplained. One reason for the limited success may be the genetic heterogeneity of BP. Clinical sub-phenotypes of BP may identify more etiologically homogeneous subsets of patients, which can be studied with increased power to detect genetic variation. Here, we report on a mega-analysis of two widely studied sub-phenotypes of BP, age at onset and psychotic symptoms, which are familial and clinically significant. We combined data from three GWAS: NIMH Bipolar Disorder Genetic Association Information Network (GAIN-BP), NIMH Bipolar Disorder Genome Study (BiGS), and a German sample. The combined sample consisted of 2,836 BP cases with information on sub-phenotypes and 2,744 controls. Imputation was performed, resulting in 2.3 million SNPs available for analysis. No SNP reached genome-wide significance for either sub-phenotype. In addition, no SNP reached genome-wide significance in a meta-analysis with an independent replication sample. We had 80% power to detect associations with a common SNP at an OR of 1.6 for psychotic symptoms and a mean difference of 1.8 years in age at onset. Age at onset and psychotic symptoms in BP may be influenced by many genes of smaller effect sizes or other variants not measured well by SNP arrays, such as rare alleles.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a serious mental illness with well-established, but poorly characterized genetic risk. Lithium is among the best proven mood stabilizer therapies for BD, but treatment responses vary considerably. Based upon these and other findings, it has been suggested that lithium-responsive BD may be a genetically distinct phenotype within the mood disorder spectrum. This assertion has practical implications both for the treatment of BD and for understanding the neurobiological basis of the illness: genetic variation within lithium-sensitive signaling pathways may confer preferential treatment response, and the involved genes may underlie BD in some individuals. Presently, the mechanism of lithium is reviewed with an emphasis on gene-expression changes in response to lithium. Within this context, findings from genetic-association studies designed to identify lithium response genes in BD patients are evaluated. Finally, a framework is proposed by which future pharmacogenetic studies can incorporate advances in genetics, molecular biology and bioinformatics in a pathway-based approach to predicting lithium treatment response.
The reduced expression of the Sp4 gene in Sp4 hypomorphic mice resulted in subtle vacuolization in the hippocampus as well as deficits in sensorimotor gating and contextual memory, putative endophenotypes for schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. In this study, we examined both spatial learning/memory and hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) of Sp4 hypomorphic mice. Impaired spatial learning/memory and markedly reduced LTP were found. To corroborate the functional studies, the expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors was investigated with both western blot and immunohistochemical analyses. The reduced expression of the Sp4 gene decreased the level of the NR1 subunit of NMDA receptors in Sp4 hypomorphic mice. In human, SP4 gene was found to be deleted sporadically in schizophrenia patients, corroborating evidence that polymorphisms of human SP4 gene are associated with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Impaired NMDA neurotransmission has been implicated in several human psychiatric disorders. As yet, it remains unclear how mutations of candidate susceptibility genes for these disorders may contribute to the disruption of NMDA neurotransmission. Sp4 hypomorphic mice could therefore serve as a genetic model to investigate impaired NMDA functions resulting from loss-of-function mutations of human SP4 gene in schizophrenia and/or other psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, aberrant expression of additional genes, besides NMDAR1, likely also contributes to the behavioral abnormalities in Sp4 hypomorphic mice. Thus, further investigation of the Sp4 pathway may provide novel insights in our understanding of a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders.
For more than half a decade, lithium has been successfully used to treat bipolar disorder. Worldwide, it is considered the first-line mood stabilizer. Apart from its proven antimanic and prophylactic effects, considerable evidence also suggests an antisuicidal effect in affective disorders. Lithium is also effectively used to augment antidepressant drugs in the treatment of refractory major depressive episodes and prevent relapses in recurrent unipolar depression. In contrast to many psychiatric drugs, lithium has outlasted various pharmacotherapeutic fashions, and remains an indispensable element in contemporary psychopharmacology. Nevertheless, data from pharmacogenetic studies of lithium are comparatively sparse, and these studies are generally characterized by small sample sizes and varying definitions of response. Here, we present an international effort to elucidate the genetic underpinnings of lithium response in bipolar disorder. Following an initiative by the International Group for the Study of Lithium-Treated Patients (www.IGSLI.org) and the Unit on the Genetic Basis of Mood and Anxiety Disorders at the National Institute of Mental Health,lithium researchers from around the world have formed the Consortium on Lithium Genetics (www.ConLiGen.org) to establish the largest sample to date for genome-wide studies of lithium response in bipolar disorder, currently comprising more than 1,200 patients characterized for response to lithium treatment. A stringent phenotype definition of response is one of the hallmarks of this collaboration. ConLiGen invites all lithium researchers to join its efforts.
Abnormalities in the circadian clockwork often characterize patients with major depressive and bipolar disorders. Circadian clock genes are targets of interest in these patients. CRY2 is a circadian gene that participates in regulation of the evening oscillator. This is of interest in mood disorders where a lack of switch from evening to morning oscillators has been postulated.
G-protein coupled receptor kinase-3 (GRK3), translated from the gene, ADRBK2 has been implicated as a candidate molecule for bipolar disorder through multiple, converging lines of evidence. In some individuals, the ADRBK2 gene harbors the A-haplotype, a collection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with an increased risk for bipolar disorder. Because the A-haplotype encompasses the ADRBK2 promoter, we hypothesized that it may alter the regulation of gene expression. Using histone H3 acetylation to infer promoter activity in lymphoblastoid cells from patients with bipolar disorder, we examined the A-haplotype within its genomic context and determined that at least four of its SNPs are present in transcriptionally active portions of the promoter. However, using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by allele-specific PCR in samples heterozygous for the A-haplotype, we found no evidence of altered levels of acetylated histone H3 at the affected allele compared to the common allele. Similarly, using a transcribed SNP to discriminate expressed ADRBK2 mRNA strands by allele of origin; we found that the A-haplotype did not confer an allelic-expression imbalance. Our data suggest that while the A-haplotype is situated in active regulatory sequence, the risk-associated SNPs do not appear to affect ADRBK2 gene regulation at the level of histone H3 acetylation nor do they confer measurable changes in transcription in lymphoblastoid cells. However, tissue-specific mechanisms by which the A-haplotype could affect ADRBK2 in the central nervous system cannot be excluded.
The authors conducted a review of the history and empirical basis of genomewide association studies (GWAS), the rationale for GWAS of psychiatric disorders, results to date, limitations, and plans for GWAS meta-analyses.
The Sp4 transcription factor plays a critical role for both development and function of mouse hippocampus. Reduced expression of the mouse Sp4 gene results in a variety of behavioral abnormalities relevant to human psychiatric disorders. The human SP4 gene is therefore examined for its association with both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in European Caucasian and Chinese populations respectively. Out of ten SNPs selected from human SP4 genomic locus, four displayed significant association with bipolar disorder in European Caucasian families (rs12668354, p = 0.022; rs12673091, p = 0.0005; rs3735440, p = 0.019; rs11974306, p = 0.018). To replicate the genetic association, the same set of SNPs was examined in a Chinese bipolar case control sample. Four SNPs displayed significant association (rs40245, p = 0.009; rs12673091, p = 0.002; rs1018954, p = 0.001; rs3735440, p = 0.029), and two of them (rs12673091, rs3735440) were shared with positive SNPs from European Caucasian families. Considering the genetic overlap between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, we extended our studies in Chinese trios families for schizophrenia. The SNP7 (rs12673091, p = 0.012) also displayed a significant association. The SNP7 (rs12673091) was therefore significantly associated in all three samples, and shared the same susceptibility allele (A) across all three samples. On the other hand, we found a gene dosage effect for mouse Sp4 gene in the modulation of sensorimotor gating, a putative endophenotype for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The deficient sensorimotor gating in Sp4 hypomorphic mice was partially reversed by the administration of dopamine D2 antagonist or mood stabilizers. Both human genetic and mouse pharmacogenetic studies support Sp4 gene as a susceptibility gene for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The studies on the role of Sp4 gene in hippocampal development may provide novel insights for the contribution of hippocampal abnormalities in these psychiatric disorders.
The development of a rapid-acting and sustainable treatment for bipolar disorder (BPD) depression has been a goal for decades. The most widely documented rapid-onset antidepressant therapy is sleep deprivation (SD), which acts within 24-48 hours in 40%-60% of depressed patients. Conventional antidepressants usually require 2-8 weeks to meet response criteria. The delay, which may prolong suffering and increase suicidal risk, underlines the urgency of alternative treatment strategies. This study evaluates the combined efficacy of three established circadian-related treatments (SD, bright light [BL]), sleep phase advance [SPA]) as adjunctive treatment to lithium and antidepressants.
Clinical symptoms of affective disorders, their response to light treatment, and sensitivity to other circadian interventions indicate that the circadian system has a role in mood disorders. Possibly the mechanisms involve circadian seasonal and photoperiodic mechanisms. Since genetic susceptibilities contribute a strong component to affective disorders, we explored whether circadian gene polymorphisms were associated with affective disorders in four complementary studies.
Bipolar disorder (BD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit remarkably high rates of comorbidity, as well as patterns of familial co-segregation. Epidemiological data suggests that these disorders either share a common genetic architecture or that ADHD features in BD may represent an etiologically distinct subtype. We previously used the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS) to assess ADHD features in BD families and identified three heritable factors relating to impulsivity, mood instability, and inattention. Linkage analysis revealed a LOD score of 1.33 for the inattention factor on 5p15.3 near the dopamine transporter gene (DAT1), which has been associated with both BD and ADHD. Pharmacological evidence also suggests a role for DAT in both disorders. We have now evaluated the association of ten DAT1 variants for the WURS total score and factors in an overlapping sample of 87 BD families. Significant associations for three SNPs were observed across the WURS measures, notably for a SNP in intron 8 with the WURS total score (P = 0.007) and for variants in introns 9 and 13 with mood instability (P = 0.009 and 0.004, respectively). Analysis of an independent sample of 52 BD cases and 46 healthy controls further supported association of the intron 8 variant with mood instability (P = 0.005), and a combined analysis confirmed the associations of this SNP with WURS total score. Impulsivity and mood instability (P = 0.002, 0.007, and 8 × 10(-4), respectively). These data suggest that variants within DAT1 may predispose to a subtype of BD characterized by early prodromal features that include attentional deficits.
We have previously reported genome-wide significant linkage of bipolar disorder to a region on 22q12.3 near the marker D22S278. Towards identifying the susceptibility gene, we have conducted a fine-mapping association study of the region in two independent family samples, an independent case-control sample and a genome-wide association dataset. Two hundred SNPs were first examined in a 5?Mb region surrounding the D22S278 marker in a sample of 169 families and analyzed using PLINK. The peak of association was a haplotype near the genes stargazin (CACNG2), intraflagellar transport protein homolog 27 (IFT27) and parvalbumin (PVALB; P?=?4.69?×?10(-4)). This peak overlapped a significant haplotype in a family based association study of a second independent sample of 294 families (P?=?1.42?×?10(-5)). Analysis of the combined family sample yielded statistically significant evidence of association to a rare three SNP haplotype in the gene IFT27 (P?=?8.89?×?10(-6)). Twelve SNPs comprising these haplotypes were genotyped in an independent sample of 574 bipolar I cases and 550 controls. Statistically significant association was found for a haplotype window that overlapped the region from the first two family samples (P?=?3.43?×?10(-4)). However, analyses of the two family samples using the program LAMP, found no evidence for association in this region, but did yield significant evidence for association to a haplotype 3 of CACNG2 (P?=?1.76?×?10(-6)). Furthermore, no evidence for association was found in a large genome-wide association dataset. The replication of association to overlapping haplotypes in three independent datasets suggests the presence of a bipolar disorder susceptibility gene in this region.
Research suggests that clinical symptom dimensions may be more useful in delineating the genetics of bipolar disorder (BD) than standard diagnostic models. To date, no study has applied this concept to data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). We performed a GWAS of factor dimensions in 927 clinically well-characterized BD patients of German ancestry. Rs9875793, which is located in an intergenic region of 3q26.1 and in the vicinity of the solute carrier family 2 (facilitated glucose transporter), member 2 gene (SLC2A2), was significantly associated with the factor analysis-derived dimension negative mood delusions (n=927; P=4.65 × 10(-8), odds ratio (OR)=2.66). This dimension was comprised of the symptoms delusions of poverty, delusions of guilt and nihilistic delusions. In case-control analyses, significant association with the G allele of rs9875793 was only observed in the subgroup of BD patients who displayed symptoms of negative mood delusions (allelic ?(2) model: P(G)=0.0001, OR=1.92; item present, n=89). Further support for the hypothesis that rs9875793 is associated with BD in patients displaying negative mood delusions symptom, such as delusions of guilt, was obtained from an European American sample (GAIN/TGEN), which included 1247 BD patients and 1434 controls (P(EA)=0.028, OR=1.27).
The use of subphenotypes may be an effective approach for genetic studies of complex diseases. Manic episodes with a seasonal pattern may distinguish phenotypic subgroups of bipolar subjects that may also differ genetically.
Mitochondrial deficiencies with unknown causes have been observed in schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) in imaging and postmortem studies. Polymorphisms and somatic mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) were investigated as potential causes with next generation sequencing of mtDNA (mtDNA-Seq) and genotyping arrays in subjects with SZ, BD, major depressive disorder (MDD), and controls. The common deletion of 4,977?bp in mtDNA was compared between SZ and controls in 11 different vulnerable brain regions and in blood samples, and in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of BD, SZ, and controls. In a separate analysis, association of mitochondria SNPs (mtSNPs) with SZ and BD in European ancestry individuals (n?=?6,040) was tested using Genetic Association Information Network (GAIN) and Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2) datasets. The common deletion levels were highly variable across brain regions, with a 40-fold increase in some regions (nucleus accumbens, caudate nucleus and amygdala), increased with age, and showed little change in blood samples from the same subjects. The common deletion levels were increased in the DLPFC for BD compared to controls, but not in SZ. Full mtDNA genome resequencing of 23 subjects, showed seven novel homoplasmic mutations, five were novel synonymous coding mutations. By logistic regression analysis there were no significant mtSNPs associated with BD or SZ after genome wide correction. However, nominal association of mtSNPs (p?0.05) to SZ and BD were found in the hypervariable region of mtDNA to T195C and T16519C. The results confirm prior reports that certain brain regions accumulate somatic mutations at higher levels than blood. The study in mtDNA of common polymorphisms, somatic mutations, and rare mutations in larger populations may lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders.
Circadian rhythm abnormalities in bipolar disorder (BD) have led to a search for genetic abnormalities in circadian "clock genes" associated with BD. However, no significant clock gene findings have emerged from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). At least three factors could account for this discrepancy: complex traits are polygenic, the organization of the clock is more complex than previously recognized, and/or genetic risk for BD may be shared across multiple illnesses. To investigate these issues, we considered the clock gene network at three levels: essential "core" clock genes, upstream circadian clock modulators, and downstream clock controlled genes. Using relaxed thresholds for GWAS statistical significance, we determined the rates of clock vs. control genetic associations with BD, and four additional illnesses that share clinical features and/or genetic risk with BD (major depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit/hyperactivity). Then we compared the results to a set of lithium-responsive genes. Associations with BD-spectrum illnesses and lithium-responsiveness were both enriched among core clock genes but not among upstream clock modulators. Associations with BD-spectrum illnesses and lithium-responsiveness were also enriched among pervasively rhythmic clock-controlled genes but not among genes that were less pervasively rhythmic or non-rhythmic. Our analysis reveals previously unrecognized associations between clock genes and BD-spectrum illnesses, partly reconciling previously discordant results from past GWAS and candidate gene studies.
The many attempts to identify genes for bipolar disorder (BD) have met with limited success, which has generally been attributed to genetic heterogeneity and small gene effects. However, it is also possible that the categorical phenotypes used in genetic studies of BD are not the most informative or biologically relevant. Although quantitative phenotypes provide an alternative to categorical phenotypes based on diagnosis, they have not been fully exploited in BD genetics due to the lack of accessible biological measures. We have explored aspects of temperament as quantitative phenotypes that might define subtypes of BD with different clinical features and courses of illness. Temperament is a heritable personality factor that establishes the baseline level of reactivity, mood, and energy of a person.
We have previously reported the results of a linkage analysis of bipolar disorder in an initial set of 20 pedigrees ascertained through collaboration among three sites. We now report the results of our genome-wide linkage analysis in an independent sample of 34 pedigrees segregating bipolar disorder.
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