The effect of ANK3 bipolar-risk polymorphisms on the working memory circuitry differs between loci and according to risk-status for bipolar disorder

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2015 Apr;168B(3):188-96. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32294. Epub 2015 Feb 25.


Polymorphisms at the rs10994336 and rs9804190 loci of the Ankyrin 3 (ANK3) gene have been strongly associated with increased risk for bipolar disorder (BD). However, their potential pathogenetic effect on BD-relevant neural circuits remains unknown. We examined the effect of BD-risk polymorphisms at rs10994336 and rs9804190 on the working memory (WM) circuit using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data obtained from euthymic patients with BD (n = 41), their psychiatrically healthy first-degree relatives (n = 25) and unrelated individuals without personal or family history of psychiatric disorders (n = 46) while performing the N-back task. In unrelated healthy individuals, the rs10994336-risk-allele was associated with reduced activation of the ventral visual cortical components of the WM circuit while the rs9804190-risk-allele was associated with inefficient hyperactivation of the prefrontal cortical components of the WM. In patients and their healthy relatives, risk alleles at either loci were associated with hyperactivation in the ventral anterior cingulate cortex. Additionally, Rs9804190-risk-allele carriers with BD evidenced abnormal hyperactivation within the posterior cingulate cortex. This study provides new insights on the neurogenetic correlates of allelic variation at different genome-wide supported BD-risk associated ANK3 loci that support their involvement in BD and highlight the modulatory influence of increased background genetic risk for BD.

Keywords: ANK3; bipolar disorder; genetic; high-risk; polymorphism; relatives; working memory.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankyrins / genetics*
  • Bipolar Disorder / complications
  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Bipolar Disorder / pathology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Family
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Memory Disorders / pathology
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors


  • ANK3 protein, human
  • Ankyrins