Genetic variation in the G72 gene is associated with increased frontotemporal fiber tract integrity

  • Thomas Nickl-JockschatEmail author
  • Tony Stöcker
  • Axel Krug
  • Valentin Markov
  • Ivan I. Maximov
  • Ruiwang Huang
  • Frank Schneider
  • Ute Habel
  • Simon B. Eickhoff
  • Klaus Zerres
  • Markus M. Nöthen
  • Marcella Rietschel
  • N. Jon Shah
  • Jens Treutlein
  • Tilo Kircher
Original Paper


G72 (syn. DAOA, d-amino acid oxidase activator) is a susceptibility gene for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Diffusion tensor imaging studies hint at changes in fiber tract integrity in both disorders. We aimed to investigate whether a G72 susceptibility haplotype causes changes in fiber tract integrity in young healthy subjects. We compared fractional anisotropy in 47 subjects that were either homozygous for the M23/M24 risk haplotype (n = 20) or homozygous for M23(rs3918342)/M24(rs1421292) wild type (n = 27) using diffusion tensor imaging with 3 T. Tract-based spatial statistics, a method especially developed for diffusion data analysis, was used to delineate the major fiber tracts. We found clusters of increased FA values in homozygous risk haplotype carriers in the right periinsular region and in the right inferior parietal lobe (IPL). We did not find clusters indicating decreased FA values. The insula and the IPL have been implicated in both schizophrenia and bipolar pathophysiology. Increased FA values might reflect changes in dendritic morphology as previously described by in vitro studies. These findings further corroborate the hypothesis that a shared gene pool between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder might lead to neuroanatomic changes that confer an unspecific vulnerability for both disorders.


Genetics Imaging Schizophrenia Bipolar I disorder MRI 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Nickl-Jockschat
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tony Stöcker
    • 2
    • 3
  • Axel Krug
    • 4
  • Valentin Markov
    • 1
  • Ivan I. Maximov
    • 3
  • Ruiwang Huang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Frank Schneider
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ute Habel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Simon B. Eickhoff
    • 5
    • 6
  • Klaus Zerres
    • 7
  • Markus M. Nöthen
    • 8
  • Marcella Rietschel
    • 9
  • N. Jon Shah
    • 2
    • 3
    • 10
  • Jens Treutlein
    • 9
  • Tilo Kircher
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and PsychosomaticsRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Juelich Aachen Research Alliance – Translational Brain MedicineJuelichGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Neurosciences and Medicine-4Juelich Research CentreJuelichGermany
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity of MarburgMarburgGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Medical PsychologyHeinrich Heine UniversityDüsseldorfGermany
  6. 6.Department of Neuroscience und Medicine, INM-1Juelich Research CentreJuelichGermany
  7. 7.Institute of Human GeneticsRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  8. 8.Department of Genomics, Life & Brain CenterUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  9. 9.Department of Genetic Epidemiology in PsychiatryCentral Institute of Mental HealthMannheimGermany
  10. 10.Department of NeurologyRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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