PubMed 24411473

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Cav1.2 , KCNK3

Title: Hippocampal and frontolimbic function as intermediate phenotype for psychosis: evidence from healthy relatives and a common risk variant in CACNA1C.

Authors: Susanne Erk, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Phöbe Schmierer, Sebastian Mohnke, Oliver Grimm, Maria Garbusow, Leila Haddad, Lydia Poehland, Thomas W Mühleisen, Stephanie H Witt, Heike Tost, Peter Kirsch, Nina Romanczuk-Seiferth, Björn H Schott, Sven Cichon, Markus M Nöthen, Marcella Rietschel, Andreas Heinz, Henrik Walter

Journal, date & volume: Biol. Psychiatry, 2014 Sep 15 , 76, 466-75

PubMed link:

Variation in CACNA1C has consistently been associated with psychiatric disease in genome-wide association studies. We have previously shown that healthy carriers of the CACNA1C rs1006737 risk variant exhibit hippocampal and perigenual anterior cingulate (pgACC) dysfunction during episodic memory recall. To test whether this brain systems-level abnormality is a potential intermediate phenotype for psychiatric disorder, we studied unaffected relatives of patients with bipolar disorder, major depression, and schizophrenia.The study population comprised 188 healthy first-degree relatives of patients with bipolar disorder (n=59), major depression (n=73), and schizophrenia (n=56) and 110 comparison subjects from our discovery study who were genotyped for rs1006737 and underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing an episodic memory task and psychological testing. Group comparisons were analyzed using SPM8 and PASW Statistics 20.Similar to risk allele carriers in the discovery sample, relatives of index patients exhibited hippocampal and pgACC dysfunction as well as increased scores in depression and anxiety measures, correlating negatively with hippocampal activation. Carrying the rs1006737 risk variant resulted in a stronger decrease of hippocampal and pgACC activation in relatives, indicating an additive effect of CACNA1C variation on familial risk.Our findings implicate abnormal perigenual and hippocampal activation as a promising intermediate phenotype for psychiatric disease and suggest a pathophysiologic mechanism conferred by a CACNA1C variant being implicated in risk for symptom dimensions shared among bipolar disorder, major depression, and schizophrenia.