Genes Involved in Neurodevelopment, Neuroplasticity, and Bipolar Disorder: CACNA1C, CHRNA1, and MAPK1

Marco Calabrò, Laura Mandelli, Concetta Crisafulli, Antonella Sidoti, Tae Youn Jun, Soo Jung Lee, Changsu Han, Ashwin A. Patkar, Prakash S. Masand, Chi Un Pae, Alessandro Serretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Bipolar disorder (BPD) is a common and severe mental disorder. The involvement of genetic factors in the pathophysiology of BPD is well known. In the present study, we tested the association of several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within 3 strong candidate genes (CACNA1C, CHRNA7, and MAPK1) with BPD. These genes are involved in monoamine-related pathways, as well as in dendrite development, neuronal survival, synaptic plasticity, and memory/learning. Methods: One hundred and thirty-two subjects diagnosed with BPD and 326 healthy controls of Korean ancestry were genotyped for 40 SNPs within CACNA1C, CHRNA17, and MAPK1. Distribution of alleles and block of haplotypes within each gene were compared in cases and controls. Interactions between variants in different loci were also tested. Results: Significant differences in the distribution of alleles between the cases and controls were detected for rs1016388 within CACNA1C, rs1514250, rs2337980, rs6494223, rs3826029 and rs4779565 within CHRNA7, and rs8136867 within MAPK1. Haplotype analyses also confirmed an involvement of variations within these genes in BPD. Finally, exploratory epistatic analyses demonstrated potential interactive effects, especially regarding variations in CACNA1C and CHRNA7. Limitations: Limited sample size and risk of false-positive findings. Discussion: Our data suggest a possible role of these 3 genes in BPD. Alterations of 1 or more common brain pathways (e.g., neurodevelopment and neuroplasticity, calcium signaling) may explain the obtained results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel. All rights reserved.


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Neuroplasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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