Chromosome

This region of the genome has been thoroughly investigated in affective disorders because of the presence of genes including those coding for tyrosine hydroxylase (11p15), tyrosinase (11q14-21), dopamine receptor D2 (11q22-23), dopamine receptor D4 (11p15.5) and tryptophan hydroxylase (11p15). These proteins play an important role in catecholamine neurotransmission and their genes are considered to be candidate genes in bipolar and unipolar affective disorders. Overall results of linkage studies with tyrosine hydroxylase indicate that the tyrosine hydroxylase gene does not contribute a major gene effect to bipolar affective disorder. (33) Some studies, however, failed to exclude linkage with this gene and suggested that tyrosine hydroxylase should be further investigated using other methods such as allelic association. There are no linkage data for the tyrosine hydroxylase gene in pure unipolar affective disorder families. A possible role for the tyrosine hydroxylase gene was also examined in bipolar affective disorder association studies, all on moderate to small sample sizes. (34> Meta-analysis of the results do not support the tyrosine hydroxylase gene having a major role in the aetiology of bipolar affective disorder, while data suggest that this candidate gene should be examined in larger samples of unipolar affective disorder for which this marker may confer susceptibility to the disease. (34)

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