Background: Valproate (VPA) is a mood stabilizer for treating patients with bipolar disorder (BD). It may cause metabolic abnormalities in certain bipolar patients. However, the genetic factors that influence the susceptibility remain unclear. Genetic polymorphism of the G-protein β3 subunit (GNB3) is reported to be associated with metabolic phenotypes. In the current study, we investigated the possible associations between the GNB3 variation and VPA-induced metabolic abnormalities. METHODS:: Subjects (n = 96) who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria for BD were recruited from the National Cheng Kung University Hospital. Their metabolic indices were measured. RESULTS:: The variation of GNB3 C825T showed an association with higher plasma total cholesterol (P = 0.037), triglyceride (P = 0.014), and leptin (P < 0.001) levels in BD patients treated with VPA. After adjusting for age, sex, types of BDs, and serum concentration of VPA, the variation of GNB3 C825T remained significantly associated with the levels of serum leptin and body mass index (BMI; P < 0.001 and P = 0.030, respectively). In addition, the GNB3 C825T showed significant drug-single-nucleotide polymorphism interactions with insulin levels (P = 0.033), triglyceride levels (P = 0.013), leptin levels (P = 0.013), and BMI (P = 0.018). These results indicated that the T allele may be associated with lower serum leptin levels and BMI in BD patients treated with VPA. Conclusions: The current study provides evidence that BD patients who are T allele carriers of the GNB3 C825T polymorphism have a lower risk for VPA-induced metabolic abnormalities. Further studies about the underlying mechanisms of G protein in VPA-induced metabolic abnormalities are warranted.
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