Background: We have reported genetic linkage between bipolar disorder and markers on chromosome 6q16.3-22.1 in the National Institute of Mental Health Genetics Initiative wave 3 pedigrees. Here we test for: 1) robustness of the linkage to differing analysis methods, genotyping error, and gender-specific maps; 2) parent-of-origin effects; and 3) interaction with markers within the schizophrenia linkage region on chromosome 6p.
Methods: Members of 245 families ascertained through a sibling pair affected with bipolar I or schizoaffective-bipolar disorder were genotyped with 18 markers spanning chromosome 6. Nonparametric linkage analysis was performed.
Results: Linkage to 6q is robust to analysis method, gender-specific map differences, and genotyping error. The locus confers a 1.4-fold increased risk. Affected siblings share the maternal more often than the paternal chromosome (p =.006), which could reflect a maternal parent-of-origin effect. There is a positive correlation between family-specific linkage scores on 6q and those on 6p22.2 (r =.26; p <.0001). Linkage analysis for each locus conditioned on evidence of linkage to the other increases the evidence for linkage at both loci (p <.0005). Logarithm of the odds (LOD) scores increased from 2.26 to 5.42 on 6q and from.35 to 2.26 on 6p22.2.
Conclusions: These results support linkage of bipolar disorder to 6q, uncover a maternal parent-of-origin effect, and demonstrate an interaction of this locus with one on chromosome 6p22.2, previously linked only to schizophrenia.