Abnormal expansion of genes with trinucleotide repeat (TNR) polymorphism has been found in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders. These disorders and the major psychoses, schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder, appear to share an interesting phenomenon: genetic anticipation. Because TNR expansion correlates with anticipation, these unstable DNA sites are considered important candidate loci for the major psychoses. We investigated genes with TNR polymorphisms, including B1, B33, B37, and the N-cadherin gene, in unrelated Caucasian North American and Italian schizophrenics (n = 53 to 74), and matched controls. Also, unrelated Caucasian North American patients with bipolar I affective disorder were screened for the B33 and N-cadherin genes (n = 49 and 63, respectively). No unusually long alleles that would suggest abnormal expansion of the TNR were observed for any of these genes. Also, no statistically significant results were found in tests for genetic association between any of these genes and schizophrenia. For B37, a trend toward a difference in allele counts between schizophrenics and controls was observed. However, no clear evidence for a role of these TNR-containing genes in schizophrenia or bipolar affective disorders was found.
ASJC Scopus subject areas