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Neurosci Lett. 2005 Sep 2;385(1):76-81.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha --G308A polymorphism in schizophrenia in a Finnish population.

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South Karelia Central Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Valto Käkelän katu 14C/6, FIN-53130 Lappeenranta, Finland.


Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is a proinflammatory cytokine with functions in nerve cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. There are several studies showing that a TNF-alpha--G308A promoter polymorphism, which possibly affects TNF-alpha transcription, is associated with schizophrenia, although negative results also exist. Our aim was to investigate the relationship between the TNF-alpha --G308A promoter polymorphism, the risk of schizophrenia, and the age of onset of schizophrenia, and the TNF-alpha -G308A polymorphism was therefore studied in 149 southern Finnish patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia and in 393 healthy controls. The allele and genotype frequencies did not differ significantly between the patient and control groups (P=0.10 and 0.12, respectively), but the frequency of G/G homozygotes was statistically significantly higher in male patients than in male controls (chi(2)=5.03, d.f.=1, P=0.025) with an odds ratio of 2.00 (95% confidence interval: 1.08--3.70). No such difference was seen in female patients (P=0.79) or in the whole study group (P=0.064). The age of onset of schizophrenia did not differ significantly between the different TNF-alpha genotypes (ANOVA: F=0.45, P=0.64). In conclusion, we did not find a clear association between the TNF-alpha --G308A polymorphism and schizophrenia in the whole study group. However, TNF-alpha --G308A G/G homozygosity was modestly associated with schizophrenia in male patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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