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Mol Neuropsychiatry. 2018 Feb;3(3):125-134. doi: 10.1159/000464444. Epub 2017 Oct 28.

A Genome-Wide Search for Bipolar Disorder Risk Loci Modified by Mitochondrial Genome Variation.

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Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
Department of Department of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Department of Lindner Center of HOPE, Mason, OH, USA.
Department of University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA.


Mitochondrial DNA mutations have been reported to be associated with bipolar disorder (BD). In this study, we performed genome-wide analyses to assess mitochondrial single-nucleotide polymorphism (mtSNP) effects on BD risk and early-onset BD (EOBD) among BD patients, focusing on interaction effects between nuclear SNPs (nSNPs) and mtSNPs. Common nSNP and mtSNP data from European American BD cases (n = 1,001) and controls (n = 1,034) from the Genetic Association Information Network BD study were analyzed to assess the joint effect of nSNP and nSNP-mtSNP interaction on the risk of BD and EOBD. The effect of nSNP-mtSNP interactions was also assessed. For BD risk, the strongest evidence of an association was obtained for nSNP rs1880924 in MGAM and mtSNP rs3088309 in CytB (pjoint = 8.2 × 10-8, pint = 1.4 × 10-4). Our results also suggest that the minor allele of the nSNP rs583990 in CTNNA2 increases the risk of EOBD among carriers of the mtSNP rs3088309 minor allele, while the nSNP has no effect among those carrying the mtSNP major allele (OR = 4.53 vs. 1.05, pjoint = 2.1 × 10-7, pint = 1.16 × 10-6). While our results are not statistically significant after multiple testing correction and a large-sample replication is required, our exploratory study demonstrates the potential importance of considering the mitochondrial genome for identifying genetic factors associated with BD.


Bipolar disorder; Genome-wide association study; Interaction; Mitochondrial genome; Single-nucleotide polymorphism

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