We performed a whole genome microsatellite marker scan in six multiplex families with bipolar (BP) mood disorder ascertained in Antioquia, a historically isolated population from North West Colombia. These families were characterized clinically using the approach employed in independent ongoing studies of BP in the closely related population of the Central Valley of Costa Rica. The most consistent linkage results from parametric and non-parametric analyses of the Colombian scan involved markers on 5q31-33, a region implicated by the previous studies of BP in Costa Rica. Because of these concordant results, a follow-up study with additional markers was undertaken in an expanded set of Colombian and Costa Rican families; this provided a genome-wide significant evidence of linkage of BPI to a candidate region of ∼10 cM in 5q31-33 (maximum non-parametric linkage score = 4.395, P < 0.00004). Interestingly, this region has been implicated in several previous genetic studies of schizophrenia and psychosis, including disease association with variants of the enthoprotin and gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor genes.
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