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Am J Hum Genet. 1998 May;62(5):1084-91.

A susceptibility locus for bipolar affective disorder on chromosome 4q35.

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  • 1School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Australia.


Bipolar affective disorder (BAD) affects approximately 1% of the population and shows strong heritability. To identify potential BAD susceptibility loci, we undertook a 15-cM genome screen, using 214 microsatellite markers on the 35 most informative individuals of a large, statistically powerful pedigree. Data were analyzed by parametric two-point linkage methods under several diagnostic models. LOD scores >1.00 were obtained for 21 markers, with four of these >2.00 for at least one model. The remaining 52 individuals in the family were genotyped with these four markers, and LOD scores remained positive for three markers. A more intensive screen was undertaken in these regions, with the most positive results being obtained for chromosome 4q35. Using a dominant model of inheritance with 90% maximum age-specific penetrance and including bipolar I, II, schizoaffective/mania, and unipolar individuals as affected, we obtained a maximum two-point LOD score of 2.20 (theta = .15) at D4S1652 and a maximum three-point LOD score of 3.19 between D4S408 and D4S2924. Nonparametric analyses further supported the presence of a locus on chromosome 4q35. A maximum score of 2.62 (P=.01) was obtained between D4S1652 and D4S171 by use of the GENEHUNTER program, and a maximum score of 3.57 (P=.0002) was obtained at D4S2924 using the affected pedigree member method. Analysis of a further 10 pedigrees suggests the presence of this locus in at least one additional family, indicating a possible predisposing locus and not a pedigree-specific mutation. Our results suggest the presence of a novel BAD susceptibility locus on chromosome 4q35.

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