GABA-A receptor β3 and α5 subunit gene cluster on chromosome 15q11-q13 and bipolar disorder: A genetic association study

George N. Papadimitriou, Dimitris G. Dikeos, Georgia Karadima, Dimitrios Avramopoulos, Eugenia G. Daskalopoulou, Costas N. Stefanis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is accumulated evidence that the genes coding for the receptor of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS, may be involved in the pathogenesis of affective disorders. In a previous study, we have found a genetic association between the GABA-A receptor α5 subunit gene locus (GABRA5) on chromosome 15q11-q13 and bipolar affective disorder. The aim of the present study was to examine the same subjects to see if there exists a genetic association between bipolar affective disorder and the GABA receptor β3 subunit gene (GABRB3), which is located within 100 kb from GABRA5. The sample consisted of 48 bipolar patients compared to 44 controls (blood donors). All subjects were Greek, unrelated, and personally interviewed. Diagnosis was based on DSM-IV and ICD-10 criteria. The marker used was a dinucleotide (CA) repeat polymorphism with 12 alleles 179 to 201 bp long; genotyping was successful in all patients and 43 controls. The distribution of GABRB3 genotypes among the controls did not deviate significantly from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. No differences in allelic frequencies between bipolar patients and controls were found for GABRB3, while this locus and GABRA5 did not seem to be in significant linkage disequilibrium. In conclusion, the GABRB3 CA-repeat polymorphism we investigated does not present the observed association between bipolar affective illness and GABRA5. This could be due to higher mutation rate in the GABRB3 CA-repeat polymorphism, but it might also signify that GABRA5 is the gene actually associated with the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-320
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 8 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Association study
  • Bipolar affective disorder
  • Chromosome 15
  • GABA-A receptor β3 subunit gene (GABRB3)
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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