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Open Access Research

Association of estrogen receptor alpha gene polymorphism with age at onset, general psychopathology symptoms, and therapeutic effect of schizophrenia

Shuai Wang12, Wenqiang Li12*, Jingyuan Zhao1, Hongxing Zhang12, Yongfeng Yang12, Xiujuan Wang12, Ge Yang1 and Luxian Lv12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Henan Mental Hospital, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang, Medical University, No.388, Jianshe Middle Road, Xinxiang, 453002, China

2 Henan Key Lab of Biological Psychiatry, Xinxiang Medical University, No.388, Jianshe Middle Road, Xinxiang, 453002, China

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Behavioral and Brain Functions 2013, 9:12  doi:10.1186/1744-9081-9-12

Published: 15 March 2013



Estrogen is believed to play an important role in the central nervous system (CNS) and exert a protective role against schizophrenia. Estrogen receptor alpha (ESRα) mediates the biological action of estrogen. Rs2234693 and rs9340799, single nucleotide polymorphisms of ESRα, may be related to many psychiatric disorders, while their association with schizophrenia has not been clarified.


Genotypes rs2234693 and rs9340799 were detected in 303 schizophrenic patients and 292 healthy controls in a Chinese population. The positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) was used to estimate symptoms and therapeutic effects. The association of these polymorphisms with schizophrenia and clinical characteristics was analyzed by the chi-square test, analysis of variance, and others.


The distribution of genotypes and allele frequencies of rs2234693 and rs9340799 exhibited no significant differences between patients and controls, while haplotypes consisting of these polymorphisms had significant differences. For 2234693, T-allele carriers had an earlier age at onset. CC-homozygote carriers had a higher general psychopathology score and its percentage reduction in male and paranoid patients, respectively. CC-homozygote carriers had a higher tension (G4) and poor impulse control (G14) score, mainly in paranoid patients. Furthermore, patients with the CC homozygote had higher reductions of G4 and G14 scores when treated by aripirazole and risperidone, respectively.


Haplotypes consisting of these two polymorphisms in ESRα may be strongly associated with schizophrenia. The rs2234693 was related to age at onset, general psychopathology, G4 and G14 symptoms, even the therapeutic effect in different groups.

Estrogen receptor; Polymorphism; Association; Schizophrenia; Age at onset; Symptom; Therapeutic effect