In a previous study [Maziade et al. (2005); Mol Psychiatry 10:486-499], we provided evidence for linkage (parametric lod score of 4.05) on chromosome 16p for bipolar affective disorder (BP) in 21 kindreds from Eastern Quebec, a population characterized by a founder effect. Using a stringent design, we performed a replication study in a second sample of 27 kindreds (sample 2) collected from the same population and assessed with the same methodologies as in our original sample (sample 1), that is with the same diagnostic procedure and using a common set of 23 markers studied with model-based (parametric) and model-free (nonparametric) linkage analyses. We replicated our initial finding with P values <0.001. Indeed, maximum NPL(all) scores of 3.7 and 3.52 were found at marker D16S3060 in sample 2 for the narrow and broad BP phenotype definition, respectively. For the latter definition, the nonparametric score reached 3.87 in the combined sample, a value that exceeded the maximum NPL score obtained in each individual sample (NPL(all) = 2.32 in sample 1; NPL(all) = 3.52 in sample 2). Moreover, a refined phenotype restricted to BP associated with psychosis yielded significant evidence for linkage in each individual sample (NPL(all) = 2.38 in sample 1; NPL(all) = 2.72) while yielding the best result (NPL(all) score = 3.90) in the combined sample (samples 1 and 2), despite an important reduction in the number of affected individuals. It is also noteworthy that the use of the refined phenotype provided a location of the maximum linkage peak shared by both samples, that is, at marker D16S668 in 16p13.12, suggesting consistency across samples. Our study provided one of the strongest pieces of evidence for linkage with BP in 16p and illustrated the heuristic potential of a replication study in a second sample ascertained from the same population and using homogeneous methodologies.
2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.