American Journal of Pharmacogenomics

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 45–52 | Cite as

Monoamine Oxidase A and Tryptophan Hydroxylase Gene Polymorphisms

Are They Associated with Bipolar Disorder?
  • Martin Preisig
  • François Ferrero
  • Alain Malafosse
Genomics in Health and Disease


Most of the candidate gene studies in bipolar disorder have focused on the major neurotransmitter systems that are influenced by drugs used in the treatment of this disorder. The monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and the tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH1, TPH2) genes are two of the candidates that have been tested in a series of association studies using unrelated or family-based controls. This review summarizes the existing association studies regarding these genes. Most of these studies were based on the unrelated case-control design with samples of 50 to 600 subjects. Regarding MAOA, three meta-analyses with partially overlapping samples supported a modest effect of this gene in bipolar disorder in female Caucasians. However, as several studies could not replicate these findings, more work is necessary to demonstrate unequivocally the involvement of MAOA in bipolar disorder and establish the biological mechanism underlying the genetic association. With respect to TPH1 and TPH2, the majority of studies did not provide evidence for an association between these genes and bipolar disorder. The genes are more likely to be related to suicidal behavior than to bipolar disorder.


Bipolar Disorder Suicidal Behavior Bipolar Patient Tryptophan Hydroxylase MAOA Gene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by grants 32-40677.94, 32-47315.96, 31-53849.98, and 32-66793.01 from the Swiss National Foundation.

The authors have provided no information on conflicts of interest directly relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Preisig
    • 1
  • François Ferrero
    • 2
  • Alain Malafosse
    • 2
  1. 1.University Department of Adult PsychiatryPrilly-LausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity Hospital of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

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