A polymorphism in the coding region of catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) was previously reported to be associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), particularly in male probands. We attempted to replicate the previous finding using a family-based genetic design in haplotype relative risk (HRR) and transmission disequilibrium (TDT) analyses. Fifty-six OCD probands and their parents were genotyped for the COMT locus using established methods. Analysis of allele and genotype frequencies between the proband genotypes and the control (parental nontransmitted) genotypes failed to replicate the previous finding of gender divergence, gave no evidence of overall association, nor was linkage detected by TDT. However, further analysis of the COMT allele frequencies by proband gender gave evidence of a mildly significant association with the low-activity COMT allele in female probands (P=0.049), but not in male probands. These findings indicate that COMT may be etiologically relevant to OCD in a gender-specific manner opposite to that shown in previous studies.
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