The β2 subunit of the voltage-gated l-type calcium channel gene(CACNB2) rs11013860 polymorphism is a putative genetic susceptibility marker for bipolar disorder (BD). However, the neural effects of CACNB2 rs11013860 in BD are largely unknown.
Forty-six bipolar patients with first-episode mania and eighty-three healthy controls (HC) were genotyped for CACNB2 rs11013860 and were scanned with a 3.0 Tesla structural magnetic resonance imaging system to measure cortical thickness of prefrontal cortex (PFC) components (superior frontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, middle and inferior frontal gyri).
Cortical thickness was thinner in patients on all PFC measurements compared to HC (p < 0.050). Moreover, we found a significant interaction between CACNB2 genotype and diagnosis for the right superior frontal cortical thickness (F = 8.190, p = 0.040). Bonferroni corrected post-hoc tests revealed that, in CACNB2 A-allele carriers, patients displayed thinner superior frontal thickness compared to HC (p < 0.001). In patients, CACNB2 A-allele carriers also exhibited reduced superior frontal thickness compared to CACNB2 CC-allele carriers (p = 0.016).
Lithium treatment may influence our results, and the sample size in our study is relatively small.
Our results suggest that the CACNB2 rs11013860 might impact PFC thickness in patients with first-episode mania. These findings provide evidence to support CACNB2 rs11013860 involvement in the emotion-processing neural circuitry abnormality in the early stage of BD, which will ultimately contribute to revealing the link between the variation in calcium channel genes and the neuropathological mechanism of BD.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.