Gene May Be Linked to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Genetic variations in SLC1A1 associated with OCD

FRIDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Variations in the glutamate transporter gene solute carrier family 1 (SLC1A1) may be associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), according to two reports in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The gene encodes a protein responsible for neurotransmission in the cortico-striatal-thalamic-cortical circuits implicated in OCD.

Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D., from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues genotyped nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within SLC1A1 in 71 affected individuals and their parents. A significant association was found between two common changes in the 3' region of SLC1A1 and primarily affected males.

In the second study, James L. Kennedy, M.D., from the University of Toronto, Ontario, and colleagues genotyped another nine SLC1A1 SNPs, some of them overlapping, in 157 affected individuals and their first-degree relatives. This group also found two SNPs linked to OCD primarily in males, but were different than the those found by Veenstra-VanderWeele's group.

"Although some of the same SNPs were used in both studies, the findings for specific SNPs did not replicate across the studies nor is it clear that any of the polymorphisms are likely by themselves to confer susceptibility," James F. Leckman, M.D., from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and a colleague write in an accompanying editorial. Even if SLC1A1 turns out not to be associated with OCD, linkage to the chromosomal region would be informative, he adds.

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