Hyperpolarization activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) potassium channels are implicated in the control of neuronal excitability and are expressed widely in the brain. HCN4 is expressed in brain regions relevant to mood and anxiety disorders including specific thalamic nuclei, the basolateral amygdala, and the midbrain dopamine system. We therefore examined the association of HCN4 with a group of mood and anxiety disorders. We genotyped nine tag SNPs in the HCN4 gene using Sequenom iPLEX Gold technology in 285 Caucasian patients with DSM-IV mood disorders and/or obsessive compulsive disorder and 384 Caucasian controls. HCN4 polymorphisms were analyzed using single marker and haplotype-based association methods. Three SNPs showed nominal association in our population (rs12905211, rs3859014, rs498005). SNP rs12905211 maintained significance after Bonferroni correction, with allele T and haplotype CTC overrepresented in cases. These findings suggest HCN4 as a genetic susceptibility factor for mood and anxiety disorders; however, these results will require replication using a larger sample.
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