Progranulin gene variability influences the risk for bipolar I disorder, but not bipolar II disorder
Recent data have shown that genetic variability in the progranulin (GRN) gene may contribute to the susceptibility to developing bipolar disorder (BD). However, in regard to patients with BD, no information is available on the role of genetic variability and plasma progranulin levels in different types of this disorder.
In this study, we performed an association analysis of GRN in an Italian population consisting of 134 patients with BD and 232 controls to evaluate progranulin plasma levels.
The presence of the polymorphic variant of the rs5848 single nucleotide polymorphism is protective for the development of bipolar I disorder (BD-I) (odds ratio = 0.55, 95% confidence interval: 0.33–0.93; p = 0.024) but not bipolar II disorder (BD-II) (p > 0.05). In addition, plasma progranulin levels are significantly decreased in BD [mean ± standard deviation (SD) 112 ± 35 versus 183 ± 93 ng/mL in controls; p < 0.001].
Regarding the influence of GRN variability on BD susceptibility, the predisposing genetic background differs between BD-I and BD-II, possibly implying that pathogenic mechanisms differ between the two subtypes of BD.