Association analysis of Neuregulin 1 candidate regions in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
ABSTRACT Schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BPD) are severe heritable psychiatric disorders involving a complex genetic aetiology. Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a leading candidate gene for SCZ, and has recently been implicated in BPD. We previously reported association of two NRG1 haplotypes with SCZ and BPD in a Scottish case-control sample. One haplotype is located at the 5' end of the gene (region A), and the other is located at the 3' end (region B). Here, association to haplotypes within regions A and B was assessed in patients with SCZ and BPD in a second Scottish case-control sample and in the two Scottish samples combined. Association to region B was also assessed in patients with SCZ and BPD in a German case-control sample, and in all three samples combined. No evidence was found for association in the new samples when analysed individually; however, in the joint analysis of the two Scottish samples, a region B haplotype comprising two SNPs (rs6988339 and rs3757930) was associated with SCZ and the combined case group (SCZ: p=0.0037, OR=1.3, 95% CI: 1.1-1.6; BPD+SCZ: p=0.0080, OR=1.2, 95% CI: 1.1-1.5), with these associations withstanding multiple testing correction at the single-test level (SCZ: p(st)=0.022; BPD+SCZ: p(st)=0.044). This study supports the involvement of NRG1 variants in the less well studied 3' region in conferring susceptibility to SCZ and BPD in the Scottish population.
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ABSTRACT: Based on the function of neuregulin 1 (NRG1) in neurodevelopment, susceptibility to bipolar disorder presumably involves this gene. The 3' region of NRG1 contains the majority of the coding exons, and transcripts from this region encode 8 of the 9 known NRG1 isoforms; therefore, this region is likely to be predominant versus the 5' region in terms of their relative contributions to NRG1 function. We investigated the association between the 3' region of the NRG1 gene and bipolar I disorder (BPI) in the Chinese Han population and performed further analyses depending on the presence or absence of psychotic features. A total of 385 BPI patients and 475 healthy controls were recruited for this study. Thirty tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the 3' region of the NRG1 gene were genotyped for allelic and haplotypic associations with BPI and subgroups with psychotic features (BPI-P) or without psychotic features (BPI-NP). Individual marker analysis showed that 2 SNPs (rs12547858 and rs6468121) in this region were significantly associated with BPI. Moreover, subgroup analyses showed significant but marginal associations of rs6468121 with BPI-P and rs3757933 with BPI-NP. Haplotype analyses showed that 6 haplotypes were associated with BPI only. The sample size was relatively small. The investigated tag SNPs only represented 83% of the information on the targeted region. There might be a retrospective bias in the subgroup analyses. The results suggest that the 3' region of the NRG1 gene plays a role in BPI susceptibility in the Chinese Han population. In addition, the preliminary results show that BPI with psychotic features and BPI without psychotic features may constitute different sub-phenotypes; however, this finding should be confirmed in a larger population sample.Journal of affective disorders 06/2014; 162:81-8. · 3.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence suggests that neuregulin 1 (NRG1) might be involved in the neurodevelopment, neural plasticity, GABAergic neurotransmission, and pathogenesis of schizophrenia. NRG1 is abundantly expressed in the hippocampus, and emerging studies have begun to reveal the link between NRG1 signaling and cognitive deficits in schizophrenic patients. Because the transmembrane domain of NRG1 is vital for both forward and reverse signaling cascades, new Nrg1-deficient mice that carry a truncation of the transmembrane domain of the Nrg1 gene were characterized and used in this study to test a NRG1 loss-of-function hypothesis for schizophrenia. Both male and female Nrg1 heterozygous mutant mice and their wild-type littermates were used in a series of 4 experiments to characterize the impact of Nrg1 on behavioral phenotypes and to determine the importance of Nrg1 in the regulation of hippocampal neuromorphology and local GABAergic interneurons. First, a comprehensive battery of behavioral tasks indicated that male Nrg1-deficient mice exhibited significant impairments in cognitive functions. Second, pharmacological challenges were conducted and revealed that Nrg1 haploinsufficiency altered GABAergic activity in males. Third, although no genotype-specific neuromorphological alterations were found in the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, significant reductions in the hippocampal expressions of GAD67 and parvalbumin were revealed in the Nrg1-deficient males. Fourth, chronic treatment with valproate rescued the observed behavioral deficits and hippocampal GAD67 reduction in Nrg1-deficient males. Collectively, these results indicate the potential therapeutic effect of valproate and the importance of Nrg1 in the regulation of cognitive functions and hippocampal GABAergic interneurons, especially in males.Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:126. · 4.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The neuregulin-1 (NRG1) gene is one of the best-validated risk genes for schizophrenia, and psychotic and bipolar disorders. The rs6994992 variant in the NRG1 promoter (SNP8NRG243177) is associated with altered frontal and temporal brain macrostructures and/or altered white matter density and integrity in schizophrenic adults, as well as healthy adults and neonates. However, the ages when these changes begin and whether neuroimaging phenotypes are associated with cognitive performance are not fully understood. Therefore, we investigated the association of the rs6994992 variant on developmental trajectories of brain macro- and microstructures, and their relationship with cognitive performance. A total of 972 healthy children aged 3-20 years had the genotype available for the NRG1-rs6994992 variant, and were evaluated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neuropsychological tests. Age-by-NRG1-rs6994992 interactions and genotype effects were assessed using a general additive model regression methodology, covaried for scanner type, socioeconomic status, sex and genetic ancestry factors. Compared with the C-carriers, children with the TT-risk-alleles had subtle microscopic and macroscopic changes in brain development that emerge or reverse during adolescence, a period when many psychiatric disorders are manifested. TT-children at late adolescence showed a lower age-dependent forniceal volume and lower fractional anisotropy; however, both measures were associated with better episodic memory performance. To our knowledge, we provide the first multimodal imaging evidence that genetic variation in NRG1 is associated with age-related changes on brain development during typical childhood and adolescence, and delineated the altered patterns of development in multiple brain regions in children with the T-risk allele(s).Translational psychiatry. 01/2014; 4:e392.