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Psychiatry Res. 2013 Oct 30;209(3):431-8. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2013.03.027. Epub 2013 Apr 15.

Association study of polymorphisms in the alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit and catechol-o-methyl transferase genes with sensory gating in first-episode schizophrenia.

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Mental Health Center, Medical College of Shantou University, Shantou, China; Mental health Hospital of Jining, Jining, China.


The purpose of the current study was to explore the association of auditory P50 sensory gating (P50) and prepulse inhibition (PPI) of schizophrenia with polymorphisms in the CHRNA7 and COMT genes. One hundred and fourty patients with schizophrenia participated in this study. They were administered the tests P50 and PPI. Moreover, three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs2337980, rs1909884 and rs883473) in CHRNA7 and three SNPs (rs4680, rs737865 and rs165599) in COMT were selected to be genotyped by polyacrylamide gel microarray techniques. P50 index showed significant reduction in S2 amplitude between wild-type and mutation groups in the COMT rs4680. S1 amplitude of mutation group in the COMT rs737865 was also lower compared to wild-type group. PPI index revealed a shorter pulse latency of mutation group in the rs4680. The suppression ratio of mutation group was lower in COMT rs165599. Negative findings were shown between comparisons in all the CHRNA7 SNPs. We find that P50 and PPI may be influenced by COMT rs4680 polymorphisms in schizophrenia; more excitingly, we find that P50 might be influenced by COMT rs737865 polymorphisms and PPI may be influenced by COMT rs165599 polymorphisms in schizophrenia, and their mutations are associated with the reduction of the risk of P50 or PPI defects in schizophrenia. Futher studies with a larger number of subjects are needed to verify the present findings.


Auditory evoked potential P50; CHRNA7; COMT; Patients with first episode schizophrenia; Prepulse inhibition of startle reflex

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