Human Genetics

, Volume 131, Issue 7, pp 1187–1195

Cognitive and serum BDNF correlates of BDNF Val66Met gene polymorphism in patients with schizophrenia and normal controls

Authors

    • Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesBaylor College of Medicine
    • VA Medical Center
  • Da Chun Chen
    • Center for Psychiatric ResearchBeijing HuiLongGuan Hospital
  • Mei Hong Xiu
    • Center for Psychiatric ResearchBeijing HuiLongGuan Hospital
  • Colin N. Haile
    • Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesBaylor College of Medicine
  • Xingguang Luo
    • Department of PsychiatryYale University School of Medicine
  • Ke Xu
    • Department of PsychiatryYale University School of Medicine
  • Hui Ping Zhang
    • Department of PsychiatryYale University School of Medicine
  • Lingjun Zuo
    • Department of PsychiatryYale University School of Medicine
  • Zhijun Zhang
    • Department of NeurologyAffiliated ZhongDa Hospital of Southeast University
  • Xiangrong Zhang
    • Department of NeurologyAffiliated ZhongDa Hospital of Southeast University
  • Therese A. Kosten
    • Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesBaylor College of Medicine
    • Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesBaylor College of Medicine
    • VA Medical Center
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00439-012-1150-x

Cite this article as:
Zhang, X.Y., Chen, D.C., Xiu, M.H. et al. Hum Genet (2012) 131: 1187. doi:10.1007/s00439-012-1150-x

Abstract

Studies suggest that a functional polymorphism of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene (BDNF Val66Met) may mediate hippocampal-dependent cognitive functions. A few studies have reported its role in cognitive deficits in schizophrenia including its association with peripheral BDNF levels as a mediator of these cognitive deficits. We assessed 657 schizophrenic inpatients and 445 healthy controls on the repeatable battery for the assessment of neuropsychological status (RBANS), the presence of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and serum BDNF levels. We assessed patient psychopathology using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. We showed that visuospatial/constructional abilities significantly differed by genotype but not genotype × diagnosis, and the Val allele was associated with better visuospatial/constructional performance in both schizophrenic patients and healthy controls. Attention performance showed a significant genotype by diagnosis effect. Met allele-associated attention impairment was specific to schizophrenic patients and not shown in healthy controls. In the patient group, partial correlation analysis showed a significant positive correlation between serum BDNF and the RBANS total score. Furthermore, the RBANS total score showed a statistically significant BDNF level × genotype interaction. We demonstrated an association between the BDNF Met variant and poor visuospatial/constructional performance. Furthermore, the BDNF Met variant may be specific to attentional decrements in schizophrenic patients. The association between decreased BDNF serum levels and cognitive impairment in schizophrenia is dependent on the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012