Objective(s): In the present study, we examined whether there was an association between dopamine-β hydroxylase (DBH) promoter polymorphisms (a 5′-ins/del and a GTn repeats) and a history of suicide attempt in 223 chronic schizophrenia individuals using statistical and molecular analyses. Within the genetic association study design, we compared the statistical haplotype phase with the molecular phase produced by the amplicon size analysis.
Materials and methods: The two DBH polymorphisms were analysed using the Applied Biosystem 3130 and the statistical analyses were carried out using UNPHASED v.3.1.5 and PHASE v.2.1.1 to determine the haplotype frequencies and infer the phase in each patient. Then, DBH polymorphisms were incorporated into the Haploscore analysis to test the association with a history of suicide attempt.
Results: In our sample, 62 individuals had a history of suicide attempt. There was no association between DBH polymorphisms and a history of suicide attempt across the different analytical strategies applied. There was no significant difference between the haplotype frequencies produced by the amplicon size analysis and statistical analytical strategies. However, some of the haplotype pairs inferred in the PHASE analysis were inconsistent with the molecular haplotype size measured by the ABI 3130.
Conclusion: The amplicon size analysis proved to be the most accurate method using the haplotype as a possible genetic marker for future testing. Although the results were not significant, further molecular analyses of the DBH gene and other candidate genes can clarify the utility of the molecular phase in psychiatric genetics and personalized medicine.