GPR88, coding for a G protein-coupled orphan receptor that is highly represented in the striatum, is a strong functional candidate gene for neuropsychiatric disorders and is located at 1p22-p21, a chromosomal region that we have previously linked to bipolar disorder (BD) in the Sardinian population. In order to ascertain the relevance of GPR88 as a risk factor for psychiatric diseases, we performed a genetic association analysis between GPR88 and BD in a sample of triads (patient and both parents) recruited in the Sardinian and the Palestinian population as well as between GPR88 and schizophrenia (SZ) in triads from the Xhosa population in South Africa. We found a positive association between GPR88 and BD in the Sardinian and Palestinian triads. Moreover, we found a positive association between GPR88 and SZ in triads from the Xhosa population in South Africa. When these results were corrected for multiple testing, the association between GPR88 and BD was maintained in the Palestinian population. Thus, these results suggest that GPR88 deserves consideration as a candidate gene for psychiatric diseases and requires to be further investigated in other populations.
Keywords: Candidate gene; Palestine; Sardinia; South Africa; homogeneous populations.