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Association study in siblings and case-controls of serotonin- and oxytocin-related genes with high functioning autism


Nyffeler, Johanna; Walitza, Susanne; Bobrowski, Elise; Gundelfinger, Ronnie; Grünblatt, Edna (2014). Association study in siblings and case-controls of serotonin- and oxytocin-related genes with high functioning autism. Journal of Molecular Psychiatry, 2:1.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is heritable and neurodevelopmental with unknown causes. The serotonergic and oxytocinergic systems are of interest in autism for several reasons: (i) Both systems are implicated in social behavior, and abnormal levels of serotonin and oxytocin have been found in people with ASD; (ii) treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and oxytocin can yield improvements; and (iii) previous association studies have linked the serotonin transporter (SERT; SLC6A4), serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A), and oxytocin receptor (OXTR) genes with ASD. We examined their association with high functioning autism (HFA) including siblings and their interaction. METHODS In this association study with HFA children (IQ > 80), siblings, and controls, participants were genotyped for four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in OXTR (rs2301261, rs53576, rs2254298, rs2268494) and one in HTR2A (rs6311) as well as the triallelic HTTLPR (SERT polymorphism). RESULTS We identified a nominal significant association with HFA for the HTTLPR s allele (consisting of S and LG alleles) (p = .040; odds ratio (OR) = 1.697, 95% CI 1.191-2.204)). Four polymorphisms (HTTLPR, HTR2A rs6311, OXTR rs2254298 and rs53576) in combination conferred nominal significant risk for HFA with a genetic score of ≥4 (OR = 2.09, 95% CI 1.05-4.18, p = .037). The resulting area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.595 (p = .033). CONCLUSIONS Our findings, combined with those of previous reports, indicate that ASD, in particular HFA, is polygenetic rather than monogenetic and involves the serotonergic and oxytocin pathways, probably in combination with other factors.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is heritable and neurodevelopmental with unknown causes. The serotonergic and oxytocinergic systems are of interest in autism for several reasons: (i) Both systems are implicated in social behavior, and abnormal levels of serotonin and oxytocin have been found in people with ASD; (ii) treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and oxytocin can yield improvements; and (iii) previous association studies have linked the serotonin transporter (SERT; SLC6A4), serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A), and oxytocin receptor (OXTR) genes with ASD. We examined their association with high functioning autism (HFA) including siblings and their interaction. METHODS In this association study with HFA children (IQ > 80), siblings, and controls, participants were genotyped for four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in OXTR (rs2301261, rs53576, rs2254298, rs2268494) and one in HTR2A (rs6311) as well as the triallelic HTTLPR (SERT polymorphism). RESULTS We identified a nominal significant association with HFA for the HTTLPR s allele (consisting of S and LG alleles) (p = .040; odds ratio (OR) = 1.697, 95% CI 1.191-2.204)). Four polymorphisms (HTTLPR, HTR2A rs6311, OXTR rs2254298 and rs53576) in combination conferred nominal significant risk for HFA with a genetic score of ≥4 (OR = 2.09, 95% CI 1.05-4.18, p = .037). The resulting area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.595 (p = .033). CONCLUSIONS Our findings, combined with those of previous reports, indicate that ASD, in particular HFA, is polygenetic rather than monogenetic and involves the serotonergic and oxytocin pathways, probably in combination with other factors.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:04 Apr 2014 12:20
Last Modified:29 Aug 2017 02:40
Publisher:Biomed Central
ISSN:2049-9256
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/2049-9256-2-1
PubMed ID:25408912

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