Higher scores of self reported schizotypy in healthy young males carrying the COMT high activity allele

D. Avramopoulos, N. C. Stefanis, I. Hantoumi, N. Smyrnis, I. Evdokimidis, C. N. Stefanis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The gene for COMT is located on chromosome 22q11, an area that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia through linkage studies and through the detection of deletions in schizophrenics and velocardiofacial syndrome patients that often present psychotic symptomatology. Additionally catechol-O-methyl transferase activity has been found increased in schizophrenia and a functional polymorphism in the COMT gene itself has been associated with the disease, as well as with aggression in patients. We tested the hypothesis that COMT genotype for the functional VaI158Met might contribute to the variance of self reported schizotypy and aggression scores in the normal population. We genotyped 379 healthy 18- to 24-year-old male individuals who had completed the PAS, SPQ and AQ questionnaires. Our results showed that self-reported schizotypy scores in both questionnaires were significantly related to COMT genotype (P = 0.028 for the PAS and P = 0.015 for the SPQ) with individuals homozygous for the high activity allele showing the highest scores. No significant differences were detected for AQ scores. We conclude that the COMT genotype for the functional VaI158Met polymorphism is correlated to self-reported schizotypy in healthy males. This finding is in the same direction as reported findings on schizophrenia and it adds to the list of evidence that COMT or a nearby gene in linkage disequilibrium is involved in the pathogenesis of the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-711
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular psychiatry
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Catechol O-methyltransferase
  • Chromosomes
  • Genes
  • Human
  • Pair 22
  • Questionnaires
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizotypy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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