Candidate gene association studies of the α4 (CHRNA4) and β2 (CHRNB2) neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes in Alzheimer's disease

Lynnette J. Cook, Luk W. Ho, Carol Brayne, John Grimley Evans, John Xuereb, Nigel J. Cairns, Antonia Pritchard, Helen Lemmon, David Mann, David St Clair, Dragana Turic, Paul Hollingworth, Pamela J. Moore, Luke Jehu, Nicola Archer, Sarah Walter, Catherine Foy, Amanda Edmondson, John Powell, Simon LovestoneMichael J. Owen, Julie Williams, Corinne Lendon, David C. Rubinsztein, Alison Taylor

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Consistent deficits in the cholinergic system are evident in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, including selective loss of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brains of AD patients. Knockout mice for the β2 subunit have impaired neuronal survival in ageing. Accordingly, we have analysed polymorphisms in the genes that encode the α4 and β2 subunits, CHRNA4 and CHRNB2 respectively, for genetic associations with late-onset AD. A significant association for disease was observed for a non-coding polymorphism in CHRNB2 (odds ratio=0.57, 95% confidence interval=0.35-0.95, P=0.024). Replication analysis was performed in two further sample sets. While these did not individually yield significant results, a significant association remained when all samples were pooled (odds ratio=0.70, 95% confidence interval=0.52-0.95, P=0.019). These data suggest that this variant warrants further examination in large case-control series.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-146
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


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