ORIGINAL ARTICLESBrain-derived neurotrophic factor polymorphisms and frontal cortex morphology in schizophreniaVarnäs, Katarinaa c d; Lawyer, Glenna; Jönsson, Erik G.d; Kulle, Bettinab; Nesvåg, Ragnarc; Hall, Håkand; Terenius, Larsd; Agartz, Ingrida c dAuthor Information aInstitute of Psychiatry bDepartments of Biostatistics and Mathematics, University of Oslo cDepartment of Psychiatric Research, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway dDepartment of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden Correspondence to Katarina Varnäs, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry Section, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden Tel: +46 8 517 758 11; fax: +46 8 517 717 53; e-mail: [email protected] Received 25 February 2007 Revised 14 May 2007 Accepted 16 July 2007 Psychiatric Genetics: August 2008 - Volume 18 - Issue 4 - p 177-183 doi: 10.1097/YPG.0b013e3283050a94 Buy Metrics Abstract Objective To investigate associations between brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene polymorphisms and regional frontal cortical thickness and volume in patients with schizophrenia and healthy control participants. Methods BDNF genotyping was performed using polymerase chain reaction and pyrosequencing techniques in 96 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 104 healthy control participants. Cortical morphology was analyzed by processing magnetic resonance brain images with the FreeSurfer software package. General linear model analysis was used to study associations between BDNF variants and cortical thickness in patients and controls, respectively. Regional frontal cortical volumes were defined from automatic cortical parcellations. Results For patients with schizophrenia, there was an association between the BDNF −633 T/A polymorphism and thickness and volume of distinct subregions of the prefrontal cortex. Data indicated trends toward genotypic associations between the BDNF 270 C/T and 11757 G/C polymorphisms and the volume of specific frontal lobe regions in patients with schizophrenia. Among controls, there were no significant associations between BDNF polymorphisms and cortical thickness. Trends toward genotypic associations between BDNF polymorphisms and volumes of some frontal lobe regions for control participants were observed, although these differences did not reach statistical significance. Conclusion Polymorphisms in the BDNF gene may be associated with variation in frontal lobe morphology. Associations seem to be stronger in patients with schizophrenia than in healthy controls. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.