Assessment of the effect of age at onset on linkage to bipolar disorder: Evidence on chromosomes 18p and 21q

Ping I. Lin, Melvin G. McInnis, James B. Potash, Virginia L. Willour, Dean F. MacKinnon, Kuangyi Miao, J. Raymond DePaulo, Peter P. Zandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Previous evidence suggests that the inheritance of bipolar disorder (BP) may vary depending on the age at onset (AAO). Therefore, we sought to incorporate AAO as a covariate in linkage analyses of BP using two different methods, LODPAL and ordered-subset analysis (OSA), in genomewide scans of 150 multiplex pedigrees with 874 individuals. The LODPAL analysis identified two loci, on chromosomes 21q22.13 (LOD = 3.29; empirical chromosomewide P value = .009) and 18p11.2 (LOD = 2.83; empirical chromosomewide P = .05), with increased linkage among subjects who had early onset (AAO ≤ 21 years) and later onset (AAO >21 years), respectively. The rinding on 21q22.13 was significant at the chromosomewide level, even after correction for multiple testing. Moreover, a similar finding was observed in an independent sample of 65 pedigrees (LOD = 2.88; empirical chromosomewide P = .025). The finding on 18p11.2 was only nominally significant and was not observed in the independent sample. However, 18p11.2 emerged as one of the strongest regions in the OSA (LOD = 2.92; empirical P = .001), in which it was the only finding to meet chromosomewide levels of significance after correction for multiple testing. These results suggest that 21q22.13 and 18p11.2 may harbor genes that increase the risks for early-onset and later-onset forms of BP, respectively. There have been previous reports of linkage on 21q22.13 and 18p11.2, but the findings have not been consistent. This inconsistency may be due to differences in the AAO characteristics of the samples examined. Future studies to fine map susceptibility genes for BP on chromosomes 21q22.13 and 18p11.2 should take AAO into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-555
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of human genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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