Genetic variation in FOXP2 alters grey matter concentrations in schizophrenia patients

Neurosci Lett. 2011 Apr 15;493(3):131-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.02.024. Epub 2011 Feb 18.


FOXP2, the first gene known to be involved in the development of speech and language, can be considered to be, a priori, a candidate gene in schizophrenia, given the mounting evidence that the underlying core deficit in this disease could be a failure of structures relevant to normal language processing. To investigate the potential link between grey matter concentration (GMC) changes in patients with schizophrenia and the FOXP2 rs2396753 polymorphism previously reported to be associated with hallucinations in schizophrenia, we analysed high-resolution anatomical magnetic resonance images of 40 genotyped patients with schizophrenia and 36 healthy controls, using optimised voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Here we show that the common SNP rs2396753 (C>A) gene variant of the FOXP2 gene has significant effects on GMC in patients with schizophrenia, within regions of the brain known to be affected by this disease. Our data suggest that GMC reductions in schizophrenia may be driven by C allele carriers of the FOXP2 gene variant.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenine Nucleotides / genetics
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cytosine Nucleotides / genetics
  • Female
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Genetic Variation / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*
  • Young Adult


  • Adenine Nucleotides
  • Cytosine Nucleotides
  • FOXP2 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors