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American Journal of Psychiatry

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 166  |  Issue: 11  |  Page No.: 1229 - 1237

Genome-Wide Linkage and Follow-Up Association Study of Postpartum Mood Symptoms

P. B Mahon, J. L Payne, D. F MacKinnon, F. M Mondimore, F. S Goes, B Schweizer, D Jancic, BiGS Consortium NIMH Genetics Initiative Bipolar Disorder Consortium, P. A Holmans, J Shi, J. A Knowles, W. A Scheftner, M. M Weissman, D. F Levinson, J. R DePaulo, P. P Zandi and J. B. Potash

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Family studies have suggested that postpartum mood symptoms might have a partly genetic etiology. The authors used a genome-wide linkage analysis to search for chromosomal regions that harbor genetic variants conferring susceptibility for such symptoms. The authors then fine-mapped their best linkage regions, assessing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for genetic association with postpartum symptoms. METHOD: Subjects were ascertained from two studies: the NIMH Genetics Initiative Bipolar Disorder project and the Genetics of Recurrent Early-Onset Depression. Subjects included women with a history of pregnancy, any mood disorder, and information about postpartum symptoms. In the linkage study, 1,210 women met criteria (23% with postpartum symptoms), and 417 microsatellite markers were analyzed in multipoint allele sharing analyses. For the association study, 759 women met criteria (25% with postpartum symptoms), and 16,916 SNPs in the regions of the best linkage peaks were assessed for association with postpartum symptoms. RESULTS: The maximum linkage peak for postpartum symptoms occurred on chromosome 1q21.3-q32.1, with a chromosome-wide significant likelihood ratio Z score (ZLR) of 2.93 (permutation p=0.02). This was a significant increase over the baseline ZLR of 0.32 observed at this locus among all women with a mood disorder (permutation p=0.004). Suggestive linkage was also found on 9p24.3-p22.3 (ZLR=2.91). In the fine-mapping study, the strongest implicated gene was HMCN1 (nominal p=0.00017), containing four estrogen receptor binding sites, although this was not region-wide significant. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to examine the genetic etiology of postpartum mood symptoms using genome-wide data. The results suggest that genetic variations on chromosomes 1q21.3-q32.1 and 9p24.3-p22.3 may increase susceptibility to postpartum mood symptoms.

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