Genetic factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia (SZ), and the zinc finger protein 804a (ZNF804a) gene has been considered to be a risk gene for schizophrenia. In the present study, the correlation between rs1344706 polymorphism of ZNF804a gene and the integrity of white matter in schizophrenic cases was explored. A total of 60 SZ patients and 100 healthy controls (HC) were included to undergo head MRI. According to the genotyping of rs1344706 in ZNF804a, the subjects in each group were divided into a normal allele and risk allele-carrying group. The imaging data were preprocessed by PANDA software, and thefractional anisotropy (FA) of each subject was calculated. With SPM8 software, age and years of education were considered as covariates, and diagnosis as well as genotype (AA, GG/AG) were considered as intergroup factors. Four groups of FA images were analyzed by two-factor analysis of variance. The FA value of the right posterior radiocrown in the patient group was lower than that in the control group, and the difference was statistically significant. The FA value of the right lower frontal occipital tract and the right upper radiocrown in the G allele carrier group was lower than that in the A allele homozygous group. There was detection of an interaction between the FA value of the splenium of corpus callosum, the body part of the corpus callosum and the right cingulate tract. In the present study, it was demonstrated that the rs1344706 GG/AG genotype of the ZNF804a gene locus in SZ patients suffered from abnormal structure in a specific region of the brain. This finding indicated that the rs1344706 single nucleotide polymorphism of the ZNF804a gene may affect the integrity of the white matter of the brain in SZ patients and may be involved in the pathophysiological mechanism of SZ.
Keywords: diffusion tensor imaging; neuroregulatory protein 1; schizophrenia; single nucleotide polymorphism.
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