We examined the effect of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680), on brain structure in a subset (N = 82) of general population members of the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, selected through a randomization procedure, aged 33-35. Optimised voxel-based morphometry was used to produce grey matter maps from each subject's high resolution T1 weighted brain magnetic resonance images, which were subsequently entered into a general linear model with COMT genotype as defined by Met allele loading, gender and genotype by gender interaction as independent variables. Additional analyses were carried out on grey matter volumes within the dorsal lateral pre-frontal cortex (DLPFC) to examine effects on overall DLPFC volume and also using the DLPFC as a mask for voxelwise analyses, as this is an area previously reported as associated with Met allele loading. We failed to find any statistically significant association with grey matter volume and Met allele loading in the COMT gene or interaction affects between COMT and gender in either the whole brain voxel-wise analysis or in the area of the DLPFC.
Barnes, A., Isohanni, M., Barnett, J. H., Pietiläinen, O., Veijola, J., Miettunen, J., … Jones, P. B. (2012). No association of COMT (Val158Met) genotype with brain structure differences between men and women. PLoS ONE, 7(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0033964