Toxoplasma gondii exposure may modulate the influence of TLR2 genetic variation on bipolar disorder: a gene-environment interaction study.
Int J Bipolar Disord. 2016 Dec ;4(1):11. Epub 2016 May 20. PMID: 27207565
BACKGROUND: Genetic vulnerability to environmental stressors is yet to be clarified in bipolar disorder (BD), a complex multisystem disorder in which immune dysfunction and infectious insults seem to play a major role in the pathophysiology. Association between pattern-recognition receptor coding genes and BD had been previously reported. However, potential interactions with history of pathogen exposure are yet to be explored.
METHODS: 138 BD patients and 167 healthy controls were tested for serostatus of Toxoplasma gondii, CMV, HSV-1 and HSV-2 and genotyped for TLR2 (rs4696480 and rs3804099), TLR4 (rs1927914 and rs11536891) and NOD2 (rs2066842) polymorphisms (SNPs). Both the pathogen-specific seroprevalence and the TLR/NOD2 genetic profiles were compared between patients and controls followed by modelling of interactions between these genes and environmental infectious factors in a regression analysis.
RESULTS: First, here again we observed an association between BD and Toxoplasma gondii (p = 0.045; OR = 1.77; 95 % CI 1.01-3.10) extending the previously published data on a cohort of a relatively small number of patients (also included in the present sample). Second, we found a trend for an interaction between the TLR2 rs3804099 SNP and Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity in conferring BD risk (p = 0.017, uncorrected).
CONCLUSIONS: Pathogen exposure may modulate the influence of the immunogenetic background on BD. A much larger sample size and information on period of pathogen exposure are needed in future gene-environment interaction studies.