A recently discovered gene complex, G72/G30 (hereafter G72, but now termed DAOA), was found to be associated with schizophrenia and with bipolar disorder, possibly because of an indirect effect on NMDA neurotransmission. In principle, if G72 increases risk for psychosis by this mechanism, it might impact with greater penetrance those cortically based cognitive and neurophysiological functions associated with NMDA signaling. We performed two independent family-based association studies (one sample contained more than 200 families and the other more than 65) of multiple SNPs in the G72 region and of multiple SNPs in the gene for D-amino acid oxidase (DAAO), which may be modulated by G72. We examined the relationship between select cognitive measures in attention, working memory, and episodic memory and a restricted set of G72 SNPs in over 600 normal controls, schizophrenic patients, and their nonpsychotic siblings using mixed model ANOVAs. We also determined genotype effects on neurophysiology measures in normal controls using the fMRI BOLD response obtained during activation procedures involving either episodic memory or working memory. There were no significant single G72 SNP associations and clinical diagnosis in either sample, though one approached significance (p = 0.06). Diagnosis by genotype interaction effects for G72 SNP 10 were significant for cognitive variables assessing working memory and attention (p = 0.05), and at the trend level for episodic memory, such that in the schizophrenia group an exaggerated allele load effect in the predicted directions was observed. In the fMRI paradigms, a strong effect of G72 SNP 10 genotype was observed on BOLD activation in the hippocampus during the episodic memory paradigm. Tests of association with DAAO were consistently nonsignificant. We present evidence that SNP variations in the G72 gene region increase risk of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. SNP variations were not strongly associated with clinical diagnosis in family-based analyses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health