[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a commonly occurring and highly disabling disorder. The neuropeptide oxytocin and its receptor (OXTR) have been implicated in social cognition and behavior. The present study - for the first time applying a multi-level epigenetic approach - investigates the role of OXTR gene methylation in categorical, dimensional and intermediate neuroendocrinological/neural network phenotypes of social anxiety. One-hundred and ten unmedicated patients with SAD and matched 110 controls were analyzed for OXTR methylation by direct sequencing of sodium bisulfite-converted DNA extracted from whole blood. Furthermore, OXTR methylation was investigated regarding SAD-related traits (Social Phobia Scale, SPS; Social Interaction Anxiety Scale, SIAS), salivary cortisol response during the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and amygdala responsiveness to social phobia related verbal stimuli using fMRI. Significantly decreased OXTR methylation particularly at CpG Chr3:8 809 437 was associated with (1) the categorical phenotype of SAD (p<0.001, Cohen's d=0.535), (2) increased SPS and SIAS scores (p<0.001), (3) increased cortisol response to the TSST (p=0.02), and (4) increased amygdala responsiveness during social phobia related word processing (right: pcorr<0.001; left: pcorr=0.005). Assuming that decreased OXTR methylation confers increased OXTR expression, the present finding may reflect a compensatory upregulation for pathologically reduced oxytocin levels or a causally relevant increased OXTR activation in SAD and related traits. OXTR methylation patterns might thus serve as peripheral surrogates of oxytocin tone and aid in establishing accessible biomarkers of SAD risk allowing for indicated preventive interventions and personalized treatment approaches targeting the oxytocin system.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 07 January 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.2.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2015; · 8.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Repeated administration of methamphetamine (METH) enhances acute locomotor responses to METH administered in the same context, a phenomenon termed as 'locomotor sensitization'. Although many of the acute effects of METH are mediated by its influences on the compartmentalization of dopamine, serotonin systems have also been suggested to influence the behavioral effects of METH in ways that are not fully understood. The present experiments examined serotonergic roles in METH-induced locomotor sensitization by assessing: (a) the effect of serotonin transporter (SERT; Slc6A4) knockout (KO) on METH-induced locomotor sensitization; (b) extracellular monoamine levels in METH-treated animals as determined by in-vivo microdialysis; and (c) effects of serotonin (5-HT) receptor antagonists on METH-induced behavioral sensitization, with focus on effects of the 5-HT1B receptor antagonist SB 216641 and a comparison with the 5-HT2 receptor antagonist ketanserin. Repeated METH administration failed to induce behavioral sensitization in homozygous SERT KO (SERT-/-) mice under conditions that produced substantial sensitization in wild-type or heterozygous SERT KO (SERT+/-) mice. The selective 5-HT1B antagonist receptor SB 216641 restored METH-induced locomotor sensitization in SERT-/- mice, whereas ketanserin was ineffective. METH-induced increases in extracellular 5-HT (5-HTex) levels were substantially reduced in SERT-/- mice, although SERT genotype had no effect on METH-induced increases in extracellular dopamine. These experiments demonstrate that 5-HT actions, including those at 5-HT1B receptors, contribute to METH-induced locomotor sensitization. Modulation of 5-HT1B receptors might aid therapeutic approaches to the sequelae of chronic METH use.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have shown altered levels of nitric oxide (NO) and its stable metabolites (NOx (-)) in blood and cerebrospinal fluid of psychiatric patients. The aim of our study was to replicate previous findings and investigate the influence of the nitrinergic system in bipolar disorder and adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (aADHD) in particular.
Journal of Psychopharmacology 10/2014; · 2.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with high heritability. At least 30% of patients diagnosed in childhood continue to suffer ADHD during adulthood and genetic risk factors may play an essential role in the persistence of the disorder throughout lifespan. To date, Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) of ADHD have been completed in seven independent datasets, six of which were pediatric samples and one on persistent ADHD using a DNA-pooling strategy, but none of them reported genome-wide significant associations. In an attempt to unravel novel genes for the persistence of ADHD into adulthood, we conducted the first two-stage GWAS in adults with ADHD. The discovery sample included 607 ADHD cases and 584 controls. Top signals were subsequently tested for replication in three independent follow-up samples of 2,104 ADHD patients and 1,901 controls. None of the findings exceeded the genome-wide threshold for significance (PGC<5e-08), but we found evidence for the involvement of the FBXO33 gene in combined ADHD in the discovery sample (P=9.02e-07) and in the joint analysis of both stages (P=9.7e-03). Additional evidence for a FBXO33 role in ADHD was found through gene-wise and pathway enrichment analyses in our genomic study. Risk alleles were associated with lower FBXO33 expression in lymphoblastoid cell lines and with reduced frontal grey matter volume in a sample of 1,300 adult subjects. Our findings point for the first time at the ubiquitination machinery as a new disease mechanism for adult ADHD and establish a rationale for searching for additional risk variants in ubiquitination-related genes.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 06 October 2014. doi:10.1038/npp.2014.267.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 10/2014; · 8.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives. Methylphenidate (MPH) is a commonly used stimulant medication for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Besides inhibiting monoamine reuptake there is evidence that MPH also influences gene expression directly. Methods. We investigated the impact of MPH treatment on gene expression levels of lymphoblastoid cells derived from adult ADHD patients and healthy controls by hypothesis-free, genome-wide microarray analysis. Significant findings were subsequently confirmed by quantitative Real-Time PCR (qRT PCR) analysis. Results. The microarray analysis from pooled samples after correction for multiple testing revealed 138 genes to be marginally significantly regulated due to MPH treatment, and one gene due to diagnosis. By qRT PCR we could confirm that GUCY1B3 expression was differential due to diagnosis. We verified chronic MPH treatment effects on the expression of ATXN1, HEY1, MAP3K8 and GLUT3 in controls as well as acute treatment effects on the expression of NAV2 and ATXN1 specifically in ADHD patients. Conclusions. Our preliminary results demonstrate MPH treatment differences in ADHD patients and healthy controls in a peripheral primary cell model. Our results need to be replicated in larger samples and also using patient-derived neuronal cell models to validate the contribution of those genes to the pathophysiology of ADHD and mode of action of MPH.
The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 08/2014; · 3.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cognitive bias, the altered information processing resulting from the background emotional state of an individual, has been suggested as a promising new indicator of animal emotion. Comparable to anxious or depressed humans, animals in a putatively negative emotional state are more likely to judge an ambiguous stimulus as if it predicts a negative event, than those in positive states. The present study aimed to establish a cognitive bias test for mice based on a spatial judgment task and to apply it in a pilot study to serotonin transporter (5-HTT) knockout mice, a well-established mouse model for the study of anxiety- and depression-related behavior. In a first step, we validated that our setup can assess different expectations about the outcome of an ambiguous stimulus: mice having learned to expect something positive within a maze differed significantly in their behavior towards an unfamiliar location than animals having learned to expect something negative. In a second step, the use of spatial location as a discriminatory stimulus was confirmed by showing that mice interpret an ambiguous stimulus depending on its spatial location, with a position exactly midway between a positive and a negative reference point provoking the highest level of ambiguity. Finally, the anxiety- and depression-like phenotype of the 5-HTT knockout mouse model manifested - comparable to human conditions - in a trend for a negatively distorted interpretation of ambiguous information, albeit this effect was not statistically significant. The results suggest that the present cognitive bias test provides a useful basis to study the emotional state in mice, which may not only increase the translational value of animal models in the study of human affective disorders, but which is also a central objective of animal welfare research.
PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e105431. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) gene has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis as well as the pharmacological treatment of major depressive disorder. In the present analysis, for the first time a pharmacoepigenetic approach was applied investigating the influence of DNA methylation patterns in the MAO-A regulatory and exon1/intron1 region on antidepressant treatment response. 94 patients of Caucasian descent with major depressive disorder (f = 61; DSM-IV) were analyzed for DNA methylation status at 43 MAO-A CpG sites via direct sequencing of sodium bisulfite treated DNA extracted from blood cells. Patients were also genotyped for the functional MAO-A VNTR. Clinical response to antidepressant treatment with escitalopram was assessed by intra-individual changes of HAM-D-21 scores after 6 weeks of treatment. Apart from two CpG sites, male subjects showed no or only very minor methylation. In female patients, lower methylation at two individual CpG sites in the MAO-A promoter region was nominally associated with impaired response to antidepressant treatment after 6 weeks (GRCh37/hg19: CpG 43.514.063, p = 0.04; CpG 43.514.684, p = 0.009), not, however, withstanding correction for multiple testing. MAO-A VNTR genotypes did not influence MAO-A methylation status. The present pilot data do not suggest a major influence of MAO-A DNA methylation on antidepressant treatment response. However, the presently observed trend towards CpG-specific MAO-A gene hypomethylation-possibly via increased gene expression and consecutively decreased serotonin and/or norepinephrine availability-to potentially drive impaired antidepressant treatment response in female patients might be worthwhile to be followed up in larger pharmacoepigenetic studies.
Journal of Neural Transmission 05/2014; · 2.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression and diabetes are serious diseases with an increasing global prevalence. Intriguingly, recent meta-analyses have highlighted an asymmetrical relationship between the two conditions as depressed patients were found to display a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those individuals suffering from diabetes are to become depressed. Based on recent findings, we favor a hypothesis where by decreased peripheral serotonin (5-HT) transporter (5-HTT) function is a reciprocal risk factor for the co-morbidity of depression and diabetes, as it can trigger inflammatory pathogenetic mechanisms of both conditions. Higher intestinal levels of 5-HT and 5-HT3 receptor stimulation lead to increased intestinal permeability in 5-HTT deficient mice, which is viewed one of the most relevant animal models of depression. We hypothesize that this leakage of bacterial endotoxins can activate both central and peripheral Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), which inhibits insulin signaling and IRS1/PI3K/Akt and thus, contribute to the pathogenesis of diabetes and depression that are associated with this pathway. Antidepressant therapies, which also suppress intestinal 5-HTT, may have potentiating effects on the association between depression and diabetes. It is also of interest that high carbohydrate and fat intake ("cafeteria-type diet") increases intestinal 5-HT leading to TLR4 activation. Thus, endotoxaemia and inflammation owing to increased intestinal 5-HT may underpin the depression and diabetes association, where the risk of the latter pathology becomes particularly preeminent after the onset of depression and not vice versa. The evidence presented here shows the further investigation into peripheral mechanisms that linked diabetes to depression is clearly warranted.
Behavioural brain research 05/2014; · 3.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antioxidant enzymes and lipid peroxidation in the brain are involved in neuropsychiatric pathologies, including depression.14- or 28-day chronic stress model induced a depressive syndrome defined by lowered reward sensitivity in C57BL/6J mice and changed gene expression of peroxidation enzymes as shown in microarray assays. We studied how susceptibility or resilience to anhedonia is related to lipid peroxidation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). With 14-day stress, a comparison of the activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidise(GPX) and accumulation of malondialdehyde (MDA) revealed a decrease of the first two measures in susceptible, but not in resilient animals or in stressed mice chronically dosed with imipramine (7mg/kg/day). Acute stress elevated activity of CAT and SOD and dynamics of MDA accumulation in the PFC that was prevented by imipramine (30mg/kg). 28-day stress evoked anhedonia lasting two but not five weeks while behavioural invigoration was detected at the latter time point in anhedonic but not non-anhedonic mice; enhanced aggressive traits were observed in both groups. After two weeks of a stress-free period, CAT and SOD activity levels in the PFC were reduced in anhedonic animals; after five weeks, only CAT was diminished. Thus, in the present chronic stress depression paradigm, lasting alterations in brain peroxidation occur not only during anhedonia but also in the recovery period and are accompanied by behavioural abnormalities in mice. This mimics behavioural and neurochemical deficits observed in depressed patients during remission which could be used to develop remedies preventing their relapse.
Behavioural brain research 04/2014; · 3.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A promoter variant of the serotonin transporter (SERT) gene is known to affect emotional and cognitive regulation. In particular, the "short" allelic variant is implicated in the etiology of multiple neuropsychiatric disorders. Heterozygous (SERT(+/-)) and homozygous (SERT(-/-)) SERT mutant mice are valuable tools for understanding the mechanisms of altered SERT levels. Although these genetic effects are well investigated in adulthood, the developmental trajectory of altered SERT levels for behavior has not been investigated.
We assessed anxiety-like and cognitive behaviors in SERT mutant mice in early adolescence and adulthood to examine the developmental consequences of reduced SERT levels. Spine density of pyramidal neurons was also measured in corticolimbic brain regions.
Adult SERT(-/-) mice exhibited increased anxiety-like behavior, but these differences were not observed in early adolescent SERT(-/-) mice. Conversely, SERT(+/-) and SERT(-/-) mice did display higher spontaneous alternation during early adolescence and adulthood. SERT(+/-) and SERT(-/-) also exhibited greater neuronal spine densities in the orbitofrontal but not the medial prefrontal cortices. Adult SERT(-/-) mice also showed an increased spine density in the basolateral amygdala.
Developmental alterations of the serotonergic system caused by genetic inactivation of SERT can have different influences on anxiety-like and cognitive behaviors through early adolescence into adulthood, which may be associated with changes of spine density in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. The altered maturation of serotonergic systems may lead to specific age-related vulnerabilities to psychopathologies that develop during adolescence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variation in the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTT; SERT; SLC6A4) has been suggested to pharmacogenetically drive interindividual differences in antidepressant treatment response. In the present analysis, a 'pharmaco-epigenetic' approach was applied by investigating the influence of DNA methylation patterns in the 5-HTT transcriptional control region on antidepressant treatment response. Ninety-four patients of Caucasian descent with major depressive disorder (MDD) (f = 61) were analysed for DNA methylation status at nine CpG sites in the 5-HTT transcriptional control region upstream of exon 1A via direct sequencing of sodium bisulfite treated DNA extracted from blood cells. Patients were also genotyped for the functional 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 polymorphisms. Clinical response to treatment with escitalopram was assessed by intra-individual changes of HAM-D-21 scores after 6 wk of treatment. Lower average 5-HTT methylation across all nine CpGs was found to be associated with impaired antidepressant treatment response after 6 wk (p = 0.005). This effect was particularly conferred by one individual 5-HTT CpG site (CpG2 (GRCh37 build, NC_000017.10 28.563.102; p = 0.002). 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 haplotype was neither associated with 5-HTT DNA methylation nor treatment response. This analysis suggests that DNA hypomethylation of the 5-HTT transcriptional control region - possibly via increased serotonin transporter expression and consecutively decreased serotonin availability - might impair antidepressant treatment response in Caucasian patients with MDD. This pharmaco-epigenetic approach could eventually aid in establishing epigenetic biomarkers of treatment response and thereby a more personalized treatment of MDD.
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 03/2014; · 5.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although there are many studies available investigating internalizing and externalizing behavior in childhood and adolescent manifestations of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, there is limited information about their relevance in adults featuring persistence of the disease. We examined a large sample of 910 adults affected with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders (AADHD) for internalizing and externalizing behavior. Regarding correlates of internalizing behavior, AADHD probands showed significantly higher scores of the anxiety- and depression-related personality traits Neuroticism and Harm Avoidance, compared with reference values. The lifetime comorbidity of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and anxious or fearful Cluster C personality disorders (PDs) is elevated in AADHD patients compared with general population. Regarding correlates of externalizing behavior, patients affected with AADHD show significantly lower scores of Conscientiousness and significantly higher scores of Novelty Seeking than the published German reference values. Emotional, dramatic, or erratic Cluster B PDs were most frequent in AADHD. Internalizing and externalizing behavior notably affected psychosocial status to a similar extent. The frequency of both internalizing and externalizing behavior in AADHD might reflect an underlying emotional regulation disorder.
ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders 02/2014; 6(2).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia spectrum disorders and bipolar spectrum disorders are the product of both heritable and non-heritable factors, the impact of which converges at different biological levels. Recent evidence from molecular approaches has provided new insights about how environmental exposures cause persistent alterations in the regulation of gene expression, particularly by so-called epigenetic mechanisms. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of findings of epigenetic studies in psychotic disorders, summarizing findings of human and animal studies on epigenetic alterations due to postnatal environmental exposures associated with psychotic disorders.
Electronic and manual literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and PSYCHINFO, using a range of search terms around epigenetics, DNA methylation, histone modifications, psychoses, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and environmental risks associated with psychotic disorders as observed in human and experimental animal studies, complemented by review articles and cross-references.
Despite several promising findings of differential epigenetic profiles in individuals with psychotic disorders in the studies published to date, the knowledge of the role of epigenetic processes in psychotic disorder remains very limited, and should be interpreted cautiously given various challenges in this rapidly evolving field of research.
Integration of epigenetic findings into biopsychosocial models of the etiology of psychotic disorders eventually may yield important insights into the biological underpinnings of the onset and course of psychotic disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Despite growing awareness of adult ADHD and its comorbidity with personality disorders (PDs), little is known about sex- and subtype-related differences. Method: In all, 910 patients (452 females, 458 males) affected with persistent adult ADHD were assessed for comorbid PDs with the Structured Clinical Interview of DSM-IV and for personality traits with the revised NEO personality inventory, and the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire. Results: The most prevalent PDs were narcissistic PD in males and histrionic PD in females. Affected females showed higher Neuroticism, Openness to Experience, and Agreeableness scores as well as Harm Avoidance and Reward Dependence scores. Narcissistic PD and antisocial PD have the highest prevalence in the H-type, while Borderline PD is more frequent in the C-type. Conclusion: Sex- and subtype-related differences in Axis II disorder comorbidity as well as impairment-modifying personality traits have to be taken into account in epidemiological studies of persistent ADHD. (J. of Att. Dis. XXXX; XX(X) XX-XX).
Journal of Attention Disorders 02/2014; · 2.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression and anxiety are common and independent outcome predictors in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). However, it is unclear whether CHF causes depression. Thus, we investigated whether mice develop anxiety- and depression-like behavior after induction of ischemic CHF by myocardial infarction (MI).
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:376. · 4.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objectives. This study investigates an overall autonomic hypoactivity reflecting hypoarousal as important aetiological factor in ADHD at baseline during rest and in response towards stimuli. In addition, effects of methylphenidate (MPH) are examined. We further assessed whether this hypoarousal is a stable characteristic or ameliorated by arousing emotional stimuli. Methods. Boys with ADHD were examined with (n = 35) or without MPH (n = 45) and compared with healthy boys (n = 22) regarding skin conductance level (SCL) during rest and skin conductance responses (SCRs) as well as valence and arousal ratings in response to positive, neutral, and negative pictures. Results. ADHD children without MPH were characterized by reduced baseline SCL and overall reduced SCRs. ADHD children with MPH never differed from control children. All groups displayed normal valence and arousal ratings of the stimuli and enhanced SCRs to emotional in comparison to neutral pictures. Conclusions. This is the first study to unravel (1) a general autonomic hypoactivity in ADHD children at baseline and in response to low arousing neutral and highly arousing emotional stimuli, and (2) hints that MPH normalizes this hypoactivity. Results contribute to the understanding of ADHD aetiology and MPH functionality, and are consistent with the cognitive-energetic model of ADHD.
The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 01/2014; 15(1):56-65. · 3.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Environmental factors can significantly affect disease prevalence, including neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression. The ratio of deuterium to protium in water shows substantial geographical variation, which could affect disease susceptibility. Thus the link between deuterium content of water and depression was investigated, both epidemiologically, and in a mouse model of chronic mild stress. We performed a correlation analysis between deuterium content of tap water and rates of depression in regions of the USA. Next, we used a 10-day chronic stress paradigm to test whether 2-week deuterium-depleted water treatment (91 ppm) affects depressive-like behavior and hippocampal structure. The effect of deuterium-depletion on sleep electrophysiology was also evaluated in naïve mice. There was a geographic correlation between a content of deuterium and the prevalence of depression across the USA. In the chronic stress model, depressive-like features were reduced in mice fed with deuterium-depleted water, and SERT expression was decreased in mice treated with deuterium-treated water compared with regular water. Five days of predator stress also suppressed proliferation in the dentate gyrus; this effect was attenuated in mice fed with deuterium-depleted water. Finally, in naïve mice, deuterium-depleted water treatment increased EEG indices of wakefulness, and decreased duration of REM sleep, phenomena that have been shown to result from the administration of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Our data suggest that the deuterium content of water may influence the incidence of affective disorder-related pathophysiology and major depression, which might be mediated by the serotoninergic mechanisms.
Behavioural Brain Research 01/2014; · 3.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropeptide S is involved in anxiety and arousal modulation, and the functional polymorphism Asn107Ile (rs324981, A > T) of the neuropeptide S receptor gene (NPSR1) is associated with panic disorder and anxiety/fear-related traits. NPSR1 also interacts with the environment in shaping personality and impulsivity. We therefore examined whether the NPSR1 A/T polymorphism is associated with affective and anxiety disorders in a population-representative sample. Lifetime psychiatric disorders were assessed by MINI interview (n = 501) in the older cohort of the longitudinal Estonian Children Personality, Behaviour and Health Study (ECPBHS). Anxiety (STAI), self-esteem (RSES), depression (MÅDRS), suicide attempts and environmental factors were self-reported in both the younger (original n = 583) and the older cohort (original n = 593). Most of the NPSR1 effects were sex-specific and depended on environmental factors. Females with the functionally least active NPSR1 AA genotype and exposed to environmental adversity had affective/anxiety disorders more frequently; they also exhibited higher anxiety and depressiveness, and lower self-esteem. Female AA homozygotes also reported suicidal behaviour more frequently, and this was further accentuated by adverse family environment. In the general population, the NPSR1 A/T polymorphism together with environmental factors is associated with anxious, depressive and activity-related traits, increased prevalence of affective/anxiety disorders and a higher likelihood of suicidal behaviour.
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 12/2013; · 5.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most frequent psychiatric disorder in children, where it displays a global prevalence of 5 %. In up to 50 % of the cases, ADHD may persist into adulthood (aADHD), where it is often comorbid with personality disorders. Due to a potentially heritable nature of this comorbidity, we hypothesized that their genetic framework may contain common risk-modifying genes. SPOCK3, a poorly characterized, putatively Ca(2+)-binding extracellular heparan/chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan gene encoded by the human chromosomal region 4q32.3, was found to be associated with polymorphisms among the top ranks in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on ADHD and a pooled GWAS on personality disorder (PD). We therefore genotyped 48 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) representative of the SPOCK3 gene region in 1,790 individuals (n aADHD = 624, n PD = 630, n controls = 536). In this analysis, we found two SNPs to be nominally associated with aADHD (rs7689440, rs897511) and four PD-associated SNPs (rs7689440, rs897511, rs17052671 and rs1485318); the latter even reached marginal significance after rigorous Bonferroni correction. Bioinformatics tools predicted a possible influence of rs1485318 on transcription factor binding, whereas the other candidate SNPs may have effects on alternative splicing. Our results suggest that SPOCK3 may modify the genetic risk for ADHD and PD; further studies are, however, needed to identify the underlying mechanisms.
European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 11/2013; · 3.36 Impact Factor