Following a report of a linkage study that yielded evidence for a susceptibility locus for bipolar affective disorder on the long arm of chromosome 21, we studied 23 multiply affected pedigrees collected from Iceland and the UK, using the markers PFKL, D21S171, and D21S49. Counting only bipolar cases as affected, a two-point LOD of 1.28 was obtained using D21S171 (theta = 0.01, alpha = 0.35), with three Icelandic families producing LODs of 0.63, 0.62, and 1.74 (all at theta = 0.0). Affected sib pair analysis demonstrated increased allele sharing at D21S171 (P = 0.001) when unipolar cases were also considered affected. The same set of pedigrees had previously been typed for a tyrosine hydroxylase gene (TH) polymorphism at 11p15 and had shown some moderate evidence for linkage. When information from TH and the 21q markers was combined in a two-locus admixture analysis, an overall admixture LOD of 3.87 was obtained using the bipolar affection model. Thus the data are compatible with the hypothesis that a locus at or near TH influences susceptibility in some pedigrees, while a locus near D21S171 is active in others. Similar analyses in other datasets should be carried out to confirm or refute our tentative finding.
Dave Curtis publications