No association between catechol-o-methyltransferase Val108/158Met polymorphism and schizophrenia or its clinical symptomatology in a Mexican population.
ABSTRACT: The gene coding for catecol-o-methyltransferase (COMT), participant in the metabolism of catecholamines, has long been implicated as a candidate gene for schizophrenia. We determined the relation of the COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism with schizophrenia or its symptomatology (negative, disorganized and psychotic dimension). We conducted a case-control study comprising 186 patients with schizophrenia and 247 controls. The diagnosis of schizophrenia was established using the DSM-IV criteria for this illness. The clinical symptomatology was assessed through the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms and the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms. No significant differences were found in the distribution of alleles (?2 = 0.01, df = 1, p = 0.90) or genotypes (?2 = 1.66, df = 2, p = 0.43) between schizophrenic patients and the control group. Multivariate analysis showed that the COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism has no influence in the clinical symptomatology of schizophrenia. Our results showed no association between COMT Val108/158Met and schizophrenia or evidence for an association between COMT and the clinical symptomatology of this illness. This suggests that the COMT gene may not contribute to the risk for schizophrenia among the Mexican population.
Project description:Abnormalities of the medial temporal lobe have been consistently demonstrated in schizophrenia. A common functional polymorphism, Val108/158Met, in the putative schizophrenia susceptibility gene, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), has been shown to influence medial temporal lobe function. However, the effects of this polymorphism on volumes of medial temporal lobe structures, particularly in patients with schizophrenia, are less clear. Here we measured the effects of COMT Val108/158Met genotype on the volume of two regions within the medial temporal lobe, the amygdala and hippocampus, in patients with schizophrenia and healthy control subjects. We obtained MRI and genotype data for 98 schizophrenic patients and 114 matched controls. An automated atlas-based segmentation algorithm was used to generate volumetric measures of the amygdala and hippocampus. Regression analyses included COMT met allele load as an additive effect, and also controlled for age, intracranial volume, gender and acquisition site. Across patients and controls, each copy of the COMT met allele was associated on average with a 2.6% increase in right amygdala volume, a 3.8% increase in left amygdala volume and a 2.2% increase in right hippocampus volume. There were no effects of COMT genotype on volumes of the whole brain and prefrontal regions. Thus, the COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism was shown to influence medial temporal lobe volumes in a linear-additive manner, mirroring its effect on dopamine catabolism. Taken together with previous work, our data support a model in which lower COMT activity, and a resulting elevation in extracellular dopamine levels, stimulates growth of medial temporal lobe structures.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Executive control of attention in schizophrenia has recently been assessed by means of the Attention Network Test (ANT). In the past, for tasks assessing executive attention, findings in schizophrenia have been contradictory, among others suggesting a lack of increased stimulus interference effects. Attention and executive functioning are substantially influenced by candidate genes of schizophrenia, including the functional single-nucleotide polymorphism catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) Val108/158Met, with task-dependent, specific effects of Met allele load on cognitive function. Therefore, we aimed at investigating executive attention in schizophrenic patients (SZP) as compared with healthy controls (HC), and to assess the specific impact of COMT Val108/158Met on executive attention, using ANT. METHODS: We applied ANT to 63 SZP and 40 HC. We calculated a general linear model to investigate the influence of affection status and the COMT Val108/158Met genotype on executive attention as assessed by the ANT. RESULTS: Multivariate analysis of variance revealed a significant effect of group on executive attention. SZP exhibited smaller conflict effects in the ANT. Met allele load significantly modulated executive attention efficiency, with homozygous Met individuals showing low overall reaction time but increased effects conflicting stimulus information in executive attention. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest a disease-related dissociation of executive attention with reduced conflict effects in SZP. Furthermore, they support the hypothesis of differential tonic-phasic dopamine activation and specific dopamine level effects in different cognitive tasks, which helps interpreting contradictory findings of Met allele load on cognitive performance. Disease status seems to modulate the impact of COMT Val108/158Met on cognitive performance.
Project description:Background:It is accepted that there is a genetic factor that influences the risk of suicidal behavior. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, especially the Val108/158Met polymorphism, has been associated with suicide; however, no conclusive outcome has been attained. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess the role of COMT Val108/158Met in suicidal behavior throughout an updated meta-analysis. Methods:We performed an online search using PubMed and Web of Science (up to March 2017). Our systematic review included case-control studies of individuals who attempted suicide and completed suicide. We tested allelic, homozygous, heterozygous, dominant, and recessive inheritance models. The meta-analysis was performed in accordance with the statement of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Results:The meta-analysis comprised 17 studies, which included 3,282 cases and 3,774 controls, and showed that when evaluating the overall population, the Val108/158Met polymorphism of COMT was not associated with suicidal behavior in any of the inheritance models; however, the subanalyses showed that this polymorphism exhibits a risk factor in males and a protective effect in females. Additionally, it conveyed a risk factor in Asian populations when using the allelic (OR 1.25; CI: 1.04-1.51) and recessive models (OR 1.32; CI: 1.03-1.68). Conclusion:Our updated meta-analysis suggests a possible association between COMT Val108/158Met and suicidal behavior in Asian populations. However, in view of the small number of studies, these results should be considered exploratory. We recommend that more studies be performed with larger samples.
Project description:BACKGROUND:"Imaging genetics" studies have shown that brain function by neuroimaging is a sensitive intermediate phenotype that bridges the gap between genes and psychiatric conditions. Although the evidence of association between functional val108/158met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) and increasing risk for developing schizophrenia from genetic association studies remains to be elucidated, one of the most topical findings from imaging genetics studies is the association between COMT genotype and prefrontal function in schizophrenia. The next important step in the translational approach is to establish a useful neuroimaging tool in clinical settings that is sensitive to COMT variation, so that the clinician could use the index to predict clinical response such as improvement in cognitive dysfunction by medication. Here, we investigated spatiotemporal characteristics of the association between prefrontal hemodynamic activation and the COMT genotype using a noninvasive neuroimaging technique, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Study participants included 45 patients with schizophrenia and 60 healthy controls matched for age and gender. Signals that are assumed to reflect regional cerebral blood volume were monitored over prefrontal regions from 52-channel NIRS and compared between two COMT genotype subgroups (Met carriers and Val/Val individuals) matched for age, gender, premorbid IQ, and task performance. The [oxy-Hb] increase in the Met carriers during the verbal fluency task was significantly greater than that in the Val/Val individuals in the frontopolar prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia, although neither medication nor clinical symptoms differed significantly between the two subgroups. These differences were not found to be significant in healthy controls. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:These data suggest that the prefrontal NIRS signals can noninvasively detect the impact of COMT variation in patients with schizophrenia. NIRS may be a promising candidate translational approach in psychiatric neuroimaging.
Project description:The relationship between cognition and a functional polymorphism in the catechol-O-methlytransferase (COMT) gene, val108/158met, is one of debate in the literature. Furthermore, based on the dopaminergic differences associated with the COMT val108/158met genotype, neural differences during cognition may be present, regardless of genotypic differences in cognitive performance. To investigate these issues the current study aimed to 1) examine the effects of COMT genotype using a large sample of healthy individuals (n = 496-1218) and multiple cognitive measures, and using a subset of the sample (n = 22), 2) examine whether COMT genotype effects medial temporal lobe (MTL) and frontal activity during successful relational memory processing, and 3) investigate group differences in functional connectivity associated with successful relational memory processing. Results revealed no significant group difference in cognitive performance between COMT genotypes in any of the 19 cognitive measures. However, in the subset sample, COMT val homozygotes exhibited significantly decreased MTL and increased prefrontal activity during both successful relational encoding and retrieval, and reduced connectivity between these regions compared with met homozygotes. Taken together, the results suggest that although the COMT val108/158met genotype has no effect on cognitive behavioral measures in healthy individuals, it is associated with differences in neural process underlying cognitive output.
Project description:BACKGROUND: There is a negative association between the use of antipsychotics and cognitive functioning in bipolar patients, which may be mediated by altered dopamine signaling in selected brain areas, and moderation thereof by genetic sequence variation such as COMT Val108/158Met. The interaction between antipsychotic drug use and the COMT Val108/158Met genotype on two-year cognitive functioning in bipolar patients was examined. METHODS: Interaction between the COMT Val108/158Met and antipsychotics on a composite cognitive measure was examined in 51 bipolar patients who were assessed 12 times at two-monthly intervals over a period of two years (379 observations). RESULTS: There was a significant negative effect of the interaction between antipsychotic medications and Val allele load on the composite cognitive measure in bipolar patients (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The negative effects of antipsychotics on cognitive functioning in bipolar disorder may be moderated by the COMT Val 108/158 Met genotype, with a negative effect of Val allele load. If replicated, the results may be indicative of pharmacogenetic interactions in bipolar disorder.
Project description:The purpose of the current study is to examine the moderating influence of the catechol O methyltransferase gene (COMT) on the maternal prenatal smoking/offspring externalizing disorder relationship. The sample consisted of 430 young adults born between 1981 and 1984 at the Mater Misericordiae Mother's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, as well as their mothers and peers. Mothers reported their prenatal smoking status during pregnancy, and genetic data was obtained from the youth at a later follow-up in adulthood. The outcome measures in this study were mother and teacher reports of youth attention problems and aggression at age 15, and youth, mother and peer reports of youth attention problems and aggression at age 20 (combined to create latent factors of attention problems and aggression at each age). The COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism (rs4680) significantly interacted with maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy to predict youth aggressive behavior at ages 15 and 20. This gene-environment interaction was not significant for youth attention problems.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Variation in the COMT gene has been implicated in a number of psychiatric disorders, including psychotic, affective and anxiety disorders. The majority of these studies have focused on the functional Val108/158Met polymorphism and yielded conflicting results, with limited studies examining the relationship between other polymorphisms, or haplotypes, and psychiatric illness. We hypothesized that COMT variation may confer a general risk for psychiatric disorders and have genotyped four COMT variants (Val158Met, rs737865, rs165599, and a SNP in the P2 promoter [-278A/G; rs2097603]) in 394 Caucasian cases and 467 controls. Cases included patients with schizophrenia (n = 196), schizoaffective disorder (n = 62), bipolar disorder (n = 82), major depression (n = 30), and patients diagnosed with either psychotic disorder NOS or depressive disorder NOS (n = 24). RESULTS:SNP rs2097603, the Val/Met variant and SNP rs165599 were significantly associated (p = 0.004; p = 0.05; p = 0.035) with a broad "all affected" diagnosis. Haplotype analysis revealed a potentially protective G-A-A-A haplotype haplotype (-278A/G; rs737865; Val108/158Met; rs165599), which was significantly underrepresented in this group (p = 0.0033) and contained the opposite alleles of the risk haplotype previously described by Shifman et al. Analysis of diagnostic subgroups within the "all affecteds group" showed an association of COMT in patients with psychotic disorders as well as in cases with affective illness although the associated variants differed. The protective haplotype remained significantly underrepresented in most of these subgroups. CONCLUSION:Our results support the view that COMT variation provides a weak general predisposition to neuropsychiatric disease including psychotic and affective disorders.
Project description:Individual changes in dopamine-related genes influence prefrontal activity during cognitive-affective processes; however, the extent to which common genetic variations combine to influence prefrontal activity is unknown. We assessed catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val108/158Met (rs4680) and dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) G-T (rs2283265) single nucleotide polymorphisms and functional magnetic resonance imaging during an emotional response inhibition test in 43 healthy adults and 27 people with schizophrenia to determine the extent to which COMT Val108/158Met and DRD2 G-T polymorphisms combine to influence prefrontal response to cognitive-affective challenges. We found an increased number of cognitive-deficit risk alleles in these two dopamine-regulating genes predict reduced prefrontal activation during response inhibition in healthy adults, mimicking schizophrenia-like prefrontal hypoactivity. Our study provides evidence that functionally related genes can combine to produce a disease-like endophenotype.
Project description:Genetic variation at the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been significantly associated with risk for various neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, panic disorder, bipolar disorders, anorexia nervosa and others. It has also been associated with nicotine dependence, sensitivity to pain and cognitive dysfunctions especially in schizophrenia. The non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in exon 4--Val108/158Met--is the most studied SNP at COMT and is the basis for most associations. It is not, however, the only variation in the gene; several haplotypes exist across the gene. Some studies indicate that the haplotypic combinations of alleles at the Val108/158Met SNP with those in the promoter region and in the 3'-untranslated region are responsible for the associations with disorders and not the non-synonymous SNP by itself. We have now studied DNA samples from 45 populations for 63 SNPs in a region of 172 kb across the region of 22q11.2 encompassing the COMT gene. We focused on 28 SNPs spanning the COMT-coding region and immediately flanking DNA, and found that the haplotypes are from diverse evolutionary lineages that could harbor as yet undetected variants with functional consequences. Future association studies should be based on SNPs that define the common haplotypes in the population(s) being studied.