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Progranulin gene variation affects serum progranulin levels differently in Danish bipolar individuals compared with healthy controls

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Abstract

Objectives

The identification of peripheral biomarkers for bipolar disorder is of great importance and has the potential to improve diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Recent studies have reported lower plasma progranulin levels in bipolar individuals compared with controls and association with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the progranulin gene (GRN). In the present study, we investigated the effect of GRN and sortilin (SORT1) gene variation on serum progranulin levels in bipolar individuals and controls.

Materials and methods

In a Danish cohort of individuals with bipolar disorder and controls, we analysed the serum progranulin level (nbipolar=80, ncontrols=76) and five SNPs located within GRN and two SNPs near the SORT1 gene encoding sortilin, a progranulin scavenger receptor known to affect circulating progranulin levels (nbipolar=166, ncontrols=186).

Results

We observed no significant difference in the serum progranulin level between cases and controls and none of the analysed SNPs located within GRN or close to SORT1 were associated with bipolar disorder. Crude and adjusted (adjusted for case–control status, sex and age) linear regression analyses showed no effect of any SNPs on the serum progranulin level. However, we observed that the mean serum progranulin level in cases and controls is affected differently depending on the genotypes of two SNPs within GRN (rs2879096 and rs4792938).

Limitation

The sample size is relatively small and detailed information on medication and polarity of the disorder is not available. No correction for multiple testing was performed.

Conclusion

Our study suggests that the potential of progranulin as a biomarker for bipolar disorder is genotype dependent.

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