Variants in the Zinc Transporter-3 Encoding Gene (SLC30A3) in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: Effects on Brain Glutamate – a Pilot Study

Luke A. Jelen, Mark S. Green, Sinead King, Alex G. Morris, Xinyuan Zhang, David J. Lythgoe, Allan H. Young, Jacqueline de Belleroche, James M. Stone

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Abstract

Zinc transporter 3 (ZnT3) has been implicated in the aetiopathology of schizophrenia. In this pilot study, we tested the hypothesis that the presence of a minor allele of two variants in the gene encoding ZnT3 (SLC30A3) affects brain glutamate and cognitive activity in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder. Fifteen patients with schizophrenia (SCZ), 15 with bipolar affective disorder type 2 (BD), and 14 healthy volunteers (HV) were genotyped for two SLC30A3 single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs11126936 and rs11126929). They also underwent structural and functional MRI (n-back) imaging as well as static (PRESS) and functional magnetic resonance spectroscopy (n-back) on a 3 Tesla MRI system. SCZ with at least one copy of the minor allele showed reductions in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex glutamate during the n-back task, whereas SCZ without the minor allele showed an increase in glutamate. BD with the minor allele had reduced glutamate in the anterior cingulate cortex (p < 0.05). There was no effect of SLC30A3 genotype on BOLD activation during n-back or on cortical brain volume. This study supports the further investigation of SLC30A3 and its role in glutamatergic neurotransmission and in the neuropathology of mental illness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2022

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