, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 343–352 | Cite as

Effect of Bcl-2 rs956572 SNP on regional gray matter volumes and cognitive function in elderly males without dementia

  • Mu-En Liu
  • Chu-Chung Huang
  • Jen-Ping Hwang
  • Albert C. Yang
  • Pei-Chi Tu
  • Heng-Liang Yeh
  • Chen-Jee Hong
  • Ying-Jay Liou
  • Jin-Fan Chen
  • Ching-Po Lin
  • Shih-Jen Tsai


The Bcl-2 gene is a major regulator of neural plasticity and cellular resilience. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the Bcl-2 gene, Bcl-2 rs956572, significantly modulates the expression of Bcl-2 protein and cellular vulnerability to apoptosis. This study investigated the association between the Bcl-2 rs956572 SNP and brain structural abnormalities in non-demented elders, and to test the relationship between neuropsychological performance and regional gray matter (GM) volumes. Our sample comprised 97 non-demented elderly men with a mean age of 80.6 ± 5.6 years (range, 65 to 92 years). Cognitive test results, magnetic resonance imaging, and genotyping of Bcl-2 rs956572 were examined for each subject. The differences in regional GM volumes between G homozygotes and A-allele carriers were tested using optimized voxel-based morphometry. Subjects with G homozygotes exhibited significantly worse performance in the language domain of the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI; p = 0.009). They also showed significantly smaller GM volumes in the right middle temporal gyrus (MTG) (BA 21), but larger GM volumes in the left precuneus (BA 31), right lingual gyrus (BA 18), and left superior occipital gyrus (BA 19) relative to A-allele carriers (p < 0.001). A trend toward a positive correlation between right MTG GM volumes and the language domain of CASI was also evident (r = 0.181; p = 0.081). The findings suggest that Bcl-2 rs956572 SNP may modulate cognitive function and regional GM volume in non-demented elderly men, and that this polymorphism may affect language performance through its effect on the right MTG.


Bcl-2 MRI Volumetry Cognition Aged Polymorphism 



This work was supported in part by Taipei Veterans General Hospital (V98ER3-004, VGHUST100-G7-1-2), National Science Council (NSC 97-2314-B-075-001-MY3, NSC 98-2923-B-010-001-MY3 and NSC 100-2628-E-010-002-MY3) and Cheng Hsin Hospital – Yang-Ming University (99F167CY02). The authors also acknowledge MR support from the MRI Core Laboratory of National Yang-Ming University that was funded from the Ministry of Education of Taiwan (Aim for the Top University Plan).

Supplementary material

11357_2011_9367_MOESM1_ESM.doc (423 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 Regions showing gray matter volume differences between groups (DOC 423 kb)
11357_2011_9367_MOESM2_ESM.doc (496 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 2 Regions showing gray matter volume differences between groups (DOC 496 kb)
11357_2011_9367_MOESM3_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 Regional gray matter volume differences between the Bcl-2 G homozygotes and A-allele carriers (DOC 36 kb)
11357_2011_9367_MOESM4_ESM.doc (37 kb)
Supplementary Table 2 Regional gray matter volume differences between the Bcl-2 G homozygotes and A-allele carriers (DOC 37 kb)


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Copyright information

© American Aging Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mu-En Liu
    • 1
  • Chu-Chung Huang
    • 2
  • Jen-Ping Hwang
    • 3
    • 4
  • Albert C. Yang
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Pei-Chi Tu
    • 3
    • 6
  • Heng-Liang Yeh
    • 7
  • Chen-Jee Hong
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ying-Jay Liou
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jin-Fan Chen
    • 8
  • Ching-Po Lin
    • 2
    • 9
  • Shih-Jen Tsai
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryKaohsiung Veterans General Hospital-Pingtung BranchPingtungTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological SciencesNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryTaipei Veterans General HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.School of MedicineNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  5. 5.Center for Dynamical Biomarkers and Translational MedicineNational Central UniversityChungliTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of Medical Research and EducationTaipei Veterans General HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  7. 7.Taipei Veterans HomeNew Taipei CityTaiwan
  8. 8.Department of PathologyTao-Yuan Veterans HospitalTao-Yuan CountyTaiwan
  9. 9.Institute of NeuroscienceNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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