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Schizophr Res. 2011 Apr;127(1-3):22-7. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.01.014.

Interaction between COMT haplotypes and cannabis in schizophrenia: a case-only study in two samples from Spain.

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Fundación Pública Galega de Medicina Xenómica-SERGAS, Complexo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.


Cannabis use is one of the environmental factors with more solid evidence contributing to schizophrenia risk, especially in genetically susceptible individuals. One of the genes that may interact with cannabis is COMT, although available data are scarce. Here, we present a case-only study of the putative COMT-cannabis interaction in schizophrenia. Two Spanish samples from Santiago de Compostela and Valencia were screened for cannabis use. One hundred and fifty five individuals from a total of 748 patients were identified as cannabis users. Five SNPs in COMT, defining three common functional haplotypes with different enzymatic activities, were genotyped and analyzed for association at the SNP, haplotype and genotype levels. An association was detected between cannabis use and low activity variants (P<0.01) in the joint analysis and results were consistent between the two samples. Schizophrenic subjects homozygous for the Met allele at rs4680 doubled the probability of lifetime prevalence of cannabis use in comparison to Val homozygous (Mantel-Haenszel OR=2.07, 95% CI: 1.27-3.26, P=0.0031, in the combined sample). These data are in contrast to those from Caspi et al. (Biol. Psychiatry 57 (2005)1117-1127) who found association between schizophrenia/schizophreniform disorder and homozygosity at the high activity Val variant of rs4680. The results of our study are discussed in the context of previous findings, suggesting the involvement of COMT polymorphisms in the association between cannabis use and schizophrenia as well as the existence of additional factors mediating this association. However, further research is needed to confirm the COMT-cannabis interaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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