1J Neurodev Disord 2009 Dec 1: 252-63
TitleCholine transporter gene variation is associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
AbstractThe neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) plays a critical role in brain circuits mediating motor control, attention, learning and memory. Cholinergic dysfunction is associated with multiple brain disorders including Alzheimer's Disease, addiction, schizophrenia and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The presynaptic choline transporter (CHT, SLC5A7) is the major, rate-limiting determinant of ACh production in the brain and periphery and is consequently upregulated during tasks that require sustained attention. Given the contribution of central cholinergic circuits to the control of movement and attention, we hypothesized that functional CHT gene variants might impact risk for ADHD. We performed a case-control study, followed by family-based association tests on a separate cohort, of two purportedly functional CHT polymorphisms (coding variant Ile89Val (rs1013940) and a genomic SNP 3' of the CHT gene (rs333229), affording both a replication sample and opportunities to reduce potential population stratification biases. Initial genotyping of pediatric ADHD subjects for two purportedly functional CHT alleles revealed a 2-3 fold elevation of the Val89 allele (n?=?100; P?=?0.02) relative to healthy controls, as well as a significant decrease of the 3'SNP minor allele in Caucasian male subjects (n?=?60; P?=?0.004). In family based association tests, we found significant overtransmission of the Val89 variant to children with a Combined subtype diagnosis (OR?=?3.16; P?=?0.01), with an increased Odds Ratio for a haplotype comprising both minor alleles. These studies show evidence of cholinergic deficits in ADHD, particularly for subjects with the Combined subtype, and, if replicated, may encourage further consideration of cholinergic agonist therapy in the disorder.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
2Psychiatry Res 2014 Nov 219: 674-9
TitleExpression profile of neurotransmitter receptor and regulatory genes in the prefrontal cortex of spontaneously hypertensive rats: relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders.
AbstractThe spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) strain was shown to be a useful animal model to study several behavioral, pathophysiological and pharmacological aspects of schizophrenia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. To further understand the genetic underpinnings of this model, our primary goal in this study was to compare the gene expression profile of neurotransmitter receptors and regulators in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) of SHR and Wistar rats (control group). In addition, we investigated DNA methylation pattern of promoter region of the genes differentially expressed. We performed gene expression analysis using a PCRarray technology, which simultaneously measures the expression of 84 genes related to neurotransmission. Four genes were significantly downregulated in the PFC of SHR compared to Wistar rats (Gad2, Chrnb4, SLC5A7, and Qrfpr) and none in nucleus accumbens. Gad2 and Qrfpr have CpG islands in their promoter region. For both, the promoter region was hypomethylated in SHR group, and probably this mechanism is not related with the downregulation of these genes. In summary, we identified genes that are downregulated in the PFC of SHR, and might be related to the behavioral abnormalities exhibited by this strain.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
3Neurosci. Lett. 2016 Jun 623: 36-41
TitleCholinergic modulation of auditory P3 event-related potentials as indexed by CHRNA4 and CHRNA7 genotype variation in healthy volunteers.
Abstractschizophrenia (SZ) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by cognitive dysfunction within the realm of attentional processing. Reduced P3a and P3b event-related potentials (ERPs), indexing involuntary and voluntary attentional processing respectively, have been consistently observed in SZ patients who also express prominent cholinergic deficiencies. The involvement of the brain's cholinergic system in attention has been examined for several decades; however, further inquiry is required to further comprehend how abnormalities in this system affect neighbouring neurotransmitter systems and contribute to neurocognitive deficits. The objective of this pilot study was to examine the moderating role of the CHRNA4 (rs1044396), CHRNA7 (rs3087454), and SLC5A7 (rs1013940) genes on ERP indices of attentional processing in healthy volunteers (N=99; Caucasians and non-Caucasians) stratified by genotype and assessed using the auditory P300 "oddball" paradigm. Results indicated significantly greater P3a and P3b-indexed attentional processing for CT (vs. CC) CHRNA4 carriers and greater P3b for AA (vs. CC) CHRNA7 carriers. SLC5A7 allelic variants did not show significant differences in P3a and P3b processing. These findings expand our knowledge on the moderating effect of cholinergic genes on attention and could help inform targeted drug developments aimed at restoring attention deficits in SZ patients.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia