Glutamatergic dysregulation is implicated in the neurobiology of mood disorders. This study investigated the relationship between the anterior cingulate cortex (AC) glutamate, as measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS), and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from four genes (GLUL, SLC1A3, SLC1A2, and SLC1A7) that regulate the extracellular glutamate in 26 depressed patients with major depressive disorder (MDD; n = 15) and bipolar disorder (BD; n = 11). Two SNPs (rs3812778 and rs3829280), in perfect linkage disequilibrium, in the 3′ untranslated region of the EAAT2 gene SLC1A2, were associated with AC glutamate, with minor allele carriers having significantly higher glutamate levels (p < 0.001) in comparison with common allele homozygotes. In silico analysis revealed an association of minor allele carriers of rs3812778/rs382920 with an upregulation of the astrocytic marker CD44 localized downstream of SLC1A2 on chromosome 11. Finally, we tested the disease relevance of these SNPs in a large group of depressed patients [MDD (n = 458); BD (n = 1473)] and found that minor allele carriers had a significantly higher risk for rapid cycling (p = 0.006). Further work is encouraged to delineate the functional impact of excitatory amino acid transporter genetic variation on CD44 associated physiology and glutamatergic neurotransmission, specifically glutamate–glutamine cycling, and its contribution to subphenotypes of mood disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Biological Psychiatry