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Genome-wide association study identifies SESTD1 as a novel risk gene for lithium-responsive bipolar disorder

Journal article
Authors J. Song
S. E. Bergen
A. Di Florio
R. Karlsson
A. Charney
D. M. Ruderfer
E. A. Stahl
K. D. Chambert
J. L. Moran
K. Gordon-Smith
L. Forty
E. K. Green
I. Jones
L. Jones
E. M. Scolnick
P. Sklar
J. W. Smoller
P. Lichtenstein
C. Hultman
N. Craddock
Mikael Landén
Published in Molecular Psychiatry
Volume 21
Issue 9
Pages 1290-1297
ISSN 1359-4184
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 1290-1297
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1038/mp.2015.165
Keywords receptor potential channels, neurotrophic factor gene, prophylactic, lithium, maintenance treatment, japanese patients, trpc5 channels, brain, mechanism, polymorphism, schizophrenia, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Neurosciences & Neurology, Psychiatry
Subject categories Psychiatry

Abstract

Lithium is the mainstay prophylactic treatment for bipolar disorder (BD), but treatment response varies considerably across individuals. Patients who respond well to lithium treatment might represent a relatively homogeneous subtype of this genetically and phenotypically diverse disorder. Here, we performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify (i) specific genetic variations influencing lithium response and (ii) genetic variants associated with risk for lithium-responsive BD. Patients with BD and controls were recruited from Sweden and the United Kingdom. GWAS were performed on 2698 patients with subjectively defined (self-reported) lithium response and 1176 patients with objectively defined (clinically documented) lithium response. We next conducted GWAS comparing lithium responders with healthy controls (1639 subjective responders and 8899 controls; 323 objective responders and 6684 controls). Meta-analyses of Swedish and UK results revealed no significant associations with lithium response within the bipolar subjects. However, when comparing lithium-responsive patients with controls, two imputed markers attained genome-wide significant associations, among which one was validated in confirmatory genotyping (rs116323614, P = 2.74 x 10(-8)). It is an intronic single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) on chromosome 2q31.2 in the gene SEC14 and spectrin domains 1 (SESTD1), which encodes a protein involved in regulation of phospholipids. Phospholipids have been strongly implicated as lithium treatment targets. Furthermore, we estimated the proportion of variance for lithium-responsive BD explained by common variants ('SNP heritability') as 0.25 and 0.29 using two definitions of lithium response. Our results revealed a genetic variant in SESTD1 associated with risk for lithium-responsive BD, suggesting that the understanding of BD etiology could be furthered by focusing on this subtype of BD.

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