European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience

, Volume 264, Issue 2, pp 103–110

A genome-wide supported variant in CACNA1C influences hippocampal activation during episodic memory encoding and retrieval

  • Axel Krug
  • Stephanie H. Witt
  • Heidelore Backes
  • Bruno Dietsche
  • Vanessa Nieratschker
  • N. Jon Shah
  • Markus M. Nöthen
  • Marcella Rietschel
  • Tilo Kircher
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00406-013-0428-x

Cite this article as:
Krug, A., Witt, S.H., Backes, H. et al. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci (2014) 264: 103. doi:10.1007/s00406-013-0428-x

Abstract

The alpha 1C subunit of the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (CACNA1C) gene is one of the best replicated susceptibility loci for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and major depression. It is involved in learning, memory and brain plasticity. Genetic studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) reported evidence of association with the CACNA1C single nucleotide polymorphism rs1006737 with functional correlates of episodic memory encoding and retrieval, especially activations in the hippocampus. These results, however, are inconsistent with regard to the magnitude and directionality of effect. In the present study, brain activation was measured with fMRI during an episodic memory encoding and retrieval task using neutral faces in two independent samples of 94 and 111 healthy subjects, respectively. Within whole brain analyses, a main effect of genotype emerged mainly in the right hippocampus during encoding as well as retrieval within the first sample: Carriers of the minor allele (A) exhibited lower activations compared to G/G allele carriers. This effect could be replicated within the second sample, however, only for the retrieval condition. The results strengthen findings that rs1006737 is associated with neural systems related to memory processes in hippocampal regions which are detectable in healthy subjects.

Keywords

CACNA1CfMRIHippocampusEpisodic memoryBipolar disorderSchizophrenia

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Axel Krug
    • 1
  • Stephanie H. Witt
    • 2
  • Heidelore Backes
    • 1
  • Bruno Dietsche
    • 1
  • Vanessa Nieratschker
    • 2
  • N. Jon Shah
    • 3
  • Markus M. Nöthen
    • 4
    • 5
  • Marcella Rietschel
    • 2
  • Tilo Kircher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyPhilipps-University MarburgMarburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Genetic Epidemiology in Psychiatry, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty MannheimHeidelberg UniversityMannheimGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Neuroscience and Biophysics 3, MedicineResearch Center JülichJülichGermany
  4. 4.Department of Genomics, Life and Brain CenterUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Human GeneticsUniversity of BonnBonnGermany