Heritability is considered to be a major etiologic factor for schizophrenia. Among the genes considered as candidates for the disease, are those related to GABAergic neurotransmission. Our aim was to test for a genetic association between GABA-A receptor alpha 5 subunit gene locus (GABRA5) and schizophrenia. Genotyping of the GABRA5 locus was performed by the use of a dinucleotide (CA) repeat marker in 46 schizophrenic patients and 50 healthy individuals, all unrelated Greeks. Eight alleles were identified, 276-290 bp long. A nonsignificant excess of the 282-bp allele, which was found in a previous study in a Greek population to be associated with bipolar affective disorder, was observed in schizophrenic patients (33.8 vs. 23.9% in the controls). The frequency of this allele was 43.3% among patients with a later age of onset (over 25 years), differing at a statistically significant level from the controls (p < 0.05). These results suggest that common pathophysiological mechanisms may possibly underlie affective disorders and schizophrenia, at least in a subgroup of patients.
- GABA-A receptor alpha 5 subunit gene
- Schizophrenia, age of onset
- γ-Aminobutyric acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry