Skip to main content

Search for copy number variants in chromosomes 15q11-q13 and 22q11.2 in obsessive compulsive disorder



Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a clinically and etiologically heterogeneous syndrome. The high frequency of obsessive-compulsive symptoms reported in subjects with the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (DiGeorge/velocardiofacial syndrome) or Prader-Willi syndrome (15q11-13 deletion of the paternally derived chromosome), suggests that gene dosage effects in these chromosomal regions could increase risk for OCD. Therefore, the aim of this study was to search for microrearrangements in these two regions in OCD patients.


We screened the 15q11-13 and 22q11.2 chromosomal regions for genomic imbalances in 236 patients with OCD using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA).


No deletions or duplications involving 15q11-13 or 22q11.2 were identified in our patients.


Our results suggest that deletions/duplications of chromosomes 15q11-13 and 22q11.2 are rare in OCD. Despite the negative findings in these two regions, the search for copy number variants in OCD using genome-wide array-based methods is a highly promising approach to identify genes of etiologic importance in the development of OCD.

Peer Review reports


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by recurrent and intrusive thoughts and ritualistic behaviors or mental acts that a person feels compelled to perform. Although the etiology of OCD remains unknown, the results of twin studies, familial studies, and segregation analyses have provided compelling evidence that OCD has a strong genetic component [1]. However, OCD fails to follow Mendelian patterns of inheritance and is considered a complex genetic disorder. Several theoretically relevant functional candidate genes have been examined in OCD, but no susceptibility genes have yet been identified with certainty [1]. Like in other neuropsychiatric conditions, the difficulty in identifying the responsible genes may be the consequence of the clinical and genetic heterogeneity of the disorder.

Chromosomal rearrangements have been reported in a small number of individuals with OCD [27]. Two microdeletion disorders, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), due to deletion of chromosome 15q11-13, are frequently associated with obsessive-compulsive symptoms, suggesting that gene dosage effects at these two loci could contribute to the development of the obsessive-compulsive phenotype. 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, also known as DiGeorge or velocardiofacial syndrome, is a highly variable disorder caused by a microdeletion of chromosome 22q11.2, often occurring de novo (80%), with an estimated prevalence of 1/2000-6000 live births [8, 9]. The majority of 22q11.2 deletions (87%) are ~3 Mb in size, whereas a small proportion (8%) involves smaller nested ~1.5 Mb deletions [10] (Figure 1). 22q11 deletion syndrome is characterized by cardiac malformations, immunodeficiency, dysmorphic features, and palate anomalies, associated with cognitive impairment. Comorbid psychophathologies are frequent, and include schizophrenia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders and OCD or obsessive-compulsive symptoms [11]. In particular, 33% (14/43) of 22q11.2 deletion subjects meet criteria for OCD and an even higher proportion report obsessive-compulsive symptoms (83%) [12], suggesting that the 22q11.2 locus harbors genes that could predispose to OCD. Other researchers have also noted increased rates of marked obsessive-compulsive symptoms and OCD among patients with 22q11 deletion syndrome, with rates of OCD of 8% (2/25) [13], 10.7% (3/28) [14], and 14% (2/14) [15]. In contrast to the study by Gothelf and colleagues [12], the latter studies did not search systematically for OCD in their patients, which might explain the lower frequency. The COMT gene, coding for the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase, responsible for dopamine and norepinephrine inactivation, is one of the prominent candidate genes for susceptibility to mental disorders located in this interval, and is considered a major candidate gene in OCD [16].

Figure 1

22q11.21 and 15q11-q13 regions. A. Schematic representation of chromosome 22q11.21 showing the genes in the region, the common recurrent deletions (red bars), and the segmental duplications that mediate the rearrangements (blue rectangles), termed low copy repeat (LCR) A to D. B. Schematic representation of the 15q11-q13 region deleted in Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes. Paternally expressed genes are shown in yellow, maternally expressed genes in orange. Recurrent deletions are represented as red bars; the segmental duplications that mediate the rearrangements, termed breakpoint (BP) 1 to 3, are portrayed as blue rectangles.

PWS is the result of the loss of expression of several imprinted genes located in the 15q11-q13 region, which are normally expressed on the paternally derived chromosome [17] (Figure 1). In 70% of PWS patients, a paternal 15q11-q13 deletion is found. The remaining have a uniparental maternal disomy 15 (~25%) or an imprinting defect (~5%). This neurodevelopmental disorder has an estimated prevalence of 1/10000 live births and is characterized by infantile hypotonia, neonatal feeding difficulties, hypogonadism, hyperphagia (leading to obesity in early childhood) and cognitive deficits. Many studies have also reported a range of obsessive-compulsive and ritualistic behaviors not related to food in about 50% of PWS patients, including skin picking, hoarding, concerns with symmetry, exactness, ordering and arranging, need to tell or ask, and insistence on routines [1821]. Thus, paternally expressed genes within the PWS critical region (e.g., MKRN3, MAGEL2, NDN, and SNRPN-SNURF) could represent risk factors for OCD.

The aim of our study was to search in a sample of OCD patients for the presence of 15q11-13 or 22q11.2 microrearrangements using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). This is the first study to systematically screen these two copy number variants (CNVs) in OCD patients. MLPA has the ability to analyze up to 50 targets in a single reaction and to detect both deletions and duplications. The efficacy of MLPA in detecting 15q11-q13 and 22q11.2 microrearrangements has been previously established [22, 23]. We thus applied MLPA to screen our dataset for 15q11-q13 and 22q11.2 deletions/duplications.



The study included 236 probands seeking treatment at university-based OCD clinics in Paris and in Germany (Table 1). Patients had to meet DSM-IV criteria for full OCD [24], had to have OCD as their main disorder, and had to be of European descent to be included in the study. Patients with clear dysmorphic features or severe mental retardation were excluded from the study. However, no neuropsychological tests were performed to determine the intellectual quotient of patients enrolled in the study. Lifetime psychiatric evaluation was carried out during a direct interview by trained psychiatrists using either the French or German version of the Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies (DIGS) [25] for patients over 17 years of age, or the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia - Epidemiologic version (K-SADS-E) [26] for probands under 17 years of age. Among the French probands, 31% (22/71) had a history of chronic tic disorders (including chronic motor or vocal tics and Tourette syndrome), 23% (16/71) had a family history of OCD and 11% (8/71) had a family history of chronic tic disorders. No equivalent data was available for the German subjects. The local Research Ethics Boards approved the study protocol. Written informed consent was obtained from all participating subjects. If the proband was under 18 years old, the proband's consent and written parental consent were obtained.

Table 1 Clinical and demographic characteristics of OCD probands


Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes or lymphoblastoid cell lines using the NucleoSpin Blood L kit (Macherey-Nagel, Duren, Germany). MLPA was performed using the P064 MR1 (mental retardation 1) and P250 DiGeorge kits (MRC-Holland, Amsterdam, The Netherlands). The P064 MR1 kit detects copy number changes both at the 15q and 22q loci, and includes 5 probes specific for sequences in or near the 15q11.2 Prader-Willi syndrome/Angelman syndrome critical region (one probe in the MKRN3, NDN, and GABRB3, and two in UBE3A) and 6 probes in the 22q11.21 DiGeorge region (in chromosomal order: CLTCL1, CDC45L, CLDN5, ARVCF, KLHL22, SNAP29). Information regarding the probe sequences and ligation sites can be obtained at The P064 kit also screens for other mental retardation syndromes: Smith-Magenis syndrome (17p11.2), Williams syndrome (7q11.23), 1p deletion syndrome (1p36), Sotos syndrome (5q35.3), Miller-Dieker syndrome (17p13.3), Alagille syndrome (20p12.2), and Saethre-Chotzen syndrome (7p21). All patients (n = 236) were screened with the P064 MLPA kit; in addition, 126 patients were also screened with the P250 DiGeorge kit, which contains 14 different probes in the 22q11.2 region.

Fifty nanograms of DNA were used in the MLPA protocol. Experiments were performed according to the manufacturer's instructions but the volume of all kit reagents was decreased by 20%. Reactions were performed on a GeneAmp PCR System 9700 (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA, USA). PCR products were analyzed by capillary electrophoresis on an ABI Prism 3730 Genetic Analyzer (Applied Biosystems). The resultant traces were analyzed using the software GeneMarker 1.70 (SoftGenetics, State College, PA, USA). After population normalization, the peak height from each sample was compared to a synthetic control, which represents the median of all normal samples in each experiment. Peak heights below 0.75 were considered as deletions and values above 1.3 as duplications. Cases with apparent deletions or duplications were confirmed with quantitative PCR. Apparent deletions of a single probe were sequenced to rule out single-base changes within the probe-binding region. Analysis of positive controls (with confirmed 15q11-13 and 22q11.2 deletions and duplications) under the same experimental conditions ensured the reliable detection of copy number gains and loses.


DNA from 236 unrelated individuals with OCD was screened for 15q11-13 and 22q11.2 microrearrangements by MLPA. No deletions or duplications were identified in any sample in these two loci. Furthermore, no gene dosage abnormalities were detected in the other chromosomal regions screened with the MLPA P064 MR1 kit.


Chromosomal rearrangements reported in individuals with OCD suggest that gene dosage effects could contribute to the determinism of the disorder. To our knowledge, this is the first study to systematically explore CNVs in OCD. As a preliminary study, we screened a sample of OCD patients for CNVs in the 15q11-13 and the 22q11.2 chromosomal regions. These two regions were chosen because patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome or PWS have an elevated incidence of obsessive-compulsive symptoms [12, 18, 20]. We did not detect any microrearrangement in these regions in our sample. If present, the prevalence of these chromosomal anomalies in OCD would be rare, i.e. under 2 × 10-3 (<1/472 chromosomes screened). MLPA is a highly reliable method to detect microrearrangements in the 15q11-q13 and 22q11.2 regions, and has been used with success by our group and others to screen subjects with autism spectrum disorders and mental retardation [22, 23, 2729]. Thus, the negative findings in the present OCD sample cannot be ascribed to lack of sensitivity of the method to detect copy number abnormalities.

Despite their heterogeneity, the main clinical characteristics of patients with PWS or 22q11.2 deletion syndrome are relatively well recognized by psychiatrists. The non inclusion of patients with clear dysmorphic features in our study could explain at least in part why we were unable to detect any subjects with such deletions. However, patients with atypical or minimal phenotype (i.e., patients without the congenital heart defects, palate anomalies and distinctive facial features of the 22q11 deletion syndrome or without the characteristic obesity of PWS), would not have been recognized by the psychiatrists and in principle could have been included in the OCD sample. The fact that patients with significant mental retardation were absent from our sample also contributes to explain why we did not identify any subjects with 15q11-q13 or 22q11 microdeletions. Indeed, recent findings have shown that pathogenic CNVs are more frequent among individuals with moderate to severe intellectual disability [30].

Our results also failed to identify any duplication of the 15q11-q13 or 22q11.2 regions. Maternally-derived duplications of chromosome 15q11-q13, involving the region deleted in PWS and Angelman syndrome, confer a high risk of autism spectrum disorder or autistic features, whereas paternal inheritance usually leads to a normal phenotype or mild developmental delay [31, 32]. Recent technical progresses have lead to the identification of new chromosomal microrearrangements, including the reciprocal duplications of 22q11.2 deletions [33, 34]. 22q11.2 microduplications are characterized by highly variable and subtle phenotypes. The majority of individuals have cognitive deficits including speech delay and developmental delay [33, 35]. In addition, 22q11.2 microduplications can be inherited from relatives with no distinctly recognizable phenotype, suggesting reduced penetrance [36]. OCD or obsessive-compulsive symptoms have not been reported in individuals with the 15q11-q13 duplication syndrome or the 22q11.2 duplication syndrome, but given the recent identification of the latter syndrome and the limited number of patients described [3335, 37], further studies are needed.

Several limitations of this study should be taken into account when interpreting its results. It is likely that there is a selection bias in the sample of patients studied. Both in France and in Germany, patients were recruited at OCD outpatient clinics, where individuals with severe developmental disabilities and associated medical conditions are unlikely to come, thus decreasing the possibility of detecting pathogenic CNVs [30]. Second, because the purpose of our study was to detect the large deletions that are typically observed in Prader-Willi and DiGeorge syndromes, we did not screen for small deletions in the 15q11-q13 and 22q11 regions (none of which has been shown to be pathogenic) or for intragenic deletions. An additional limitation of our study is the relatively limited size of our sample. As pathogenic CNVs are rare events, type II errors could explain our inability to detect any rearrangement in the 15q11-q13 and 22q11 regions.


In conclusion, although our study did not identify 15q11-q13 and 22q11 microdeletions in patients with OCD, further search of CNVs in OCD is warranted using genome-wide approaches in large samples. The recently created OCD International Genetics Consortium will perform such studies with a sufficiently large number of individuals, by pooling DNA from different sites [1, 38]. Recent whole genome association studies and CNV analyses using microarray technologies in other neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia suggest that CNVs are more promising to identify regions of the genome with high probability of harboring candidate genes, than the results of the association study itself [3942]. The identification of multiple, individually rare structural genomic variants throughout the genome playing a causal role or significantly increasing the risk in neuropsychiatric disorders has resulted in a shift from the 'common disease-common variant' perspective to the 'multiple rare variants' perspective in the conceptualization of these disorders. Similar advances are expected in OCD with the use of genome-wide approaches to identify CNVs conferring an increased risk for the disorder.


  1. 1.

    Pauls DL: The genetics of obsessive compulsive disorder: a review of the evidence. Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2008, 148: 133-139.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Boghosian-Sell L, Comings DE, Overhauser J: Tourette syndrome in a pedigree with a 7;18 translocation: identification of a YAC spanning the translocation breakpoint at 18q22.3. Am J Hum Genet. 1996, 59: 999-1005.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Devor EJ, Magee HJ: Multiple childhood behavioral disorders (Tourette syndrome, multiple tics, ADD and OCD) presenting in a family with a balanced chromosome translocation (t1;8)(q21.1;q22.1). Psychiatr Genet. 1999, 9: 149-151. 10.1097/00041444-199909000-00007.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Santos CB, Discepoli G, Pigliapoco F, Boy R, Pimentel MM: De novo balanced translocation (2;10)(q24;q22) associated with mental retardation. Ann Genet. 2003, 46: 471-473.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Verkerk AJ, Mathews CA, Joosse M, Eussen BH, Heutink P, Oostra BA: CNTNAP2 is disrupted in a family with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder. Genomics. 2003, 82: 1-9. 10.1016/S0888-7543(03)00097-1.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Cuker A, State MW, King RA, Davis N, Ward DC: Candidate locus for Gilles de la Tourette syndrome/obsessive compulsive disorder/chronic tic disorder at 18q22. Am J Med Genet A. 2004, 130A: 37-39. 10.1002/ajmg.a.30066.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    State MW, Greally JM, Cuker A, Bowers PN, Henegariu O, Morgan TM, Gunel M, DiLuna M, King RA, Nelson C, et al: Epigenetic abnormalities associated with a chromosome 18(q21-q22) inversion and a Gilles de la Tourette syndrome phenotype. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2003, 100: 4684-4689. 10.1073/pnas.0730775100.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Botto LD, May K, Fernhoff PM, Correa A, Coleman K, Rasmussen SA, Merritt RK, O'Leary LA, Wong LY, Elixson EM, et al: A population-based study of the 22q11.2 deletion: phenotype, incidence, and contribution to major birth defects in the population. Pediatrics. 2003, 112: 101-107. 10.1542/peds.112.1.101.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Oskarsdottir S, Vujic M, Fasth A: Incidence and prevalence of the 22q11 deletion syndrome: a population-based study in Western Sweden. Arch Dis Child. 2004, 89: 148-151. 10.1136/adc.2003.026880.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Kobrynski LJ, Sullivan KE: Velocardiofacial syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome: the chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndromes. Lancet. 2007, 370: 1443-1452. 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61601-8.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Gothelf D, Schaer M, Eliez S: Genes, brain development and psychiatric phenotypes in velo-cardio-facial syndrome. Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2008, 14: 59-68. 10.1002/ddrr.9.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Gothelf D, Presburger G, Zohar AH, Burg M, Nahmani A, Frydman M, Shohat M, Inbar D, Aviram-Goldring A, Yeshaya J, et al: Obsessive-compulsive disorder in patients with velocardiofacial (22q11 deletion) syndrome. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2004, 126B: 99-105. 10.1002/ajmg.b.20124.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Papolos DF, Faedda GL, Veit S, Goldberg R, Morrow B, Kucherlapati R, Shprintzen RJ: Bipolar spectrum disorders in patients diagnosed with velo-cardio-facial syndrome: does a hemizygous deletion of chromosome 22q11 result in bipolar affective disorder?. Am J Psychiatry. 1996, 153: 1541-1547.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Feinstein C, Eliez S, Blasey C, Reiss AL: Psychiatric disorders and behavioral problems in children with velocardiofacial syndrome: usefulness as phenotypic indicators of schizophrenia risk. Biol Psychiatry. 2002, 51: 312-318. 10.1016/S0006-3223(01)01231-8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Pulver AE, Nestadt G, Goldberg R, Shprintzen RJ, Lamacz M, Wolyniec PS, Morrow B, Karayiorgou M, Antonarakis SE, Housman D, et al: Psychotic illness in patients diagnosed with velo-cardio-facial syndrome and their relatives. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1994, 182: 476-478. 10.1097/00005053-199408000-00010.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Pooley EC, Fineberg N, Harrison PJ: The met(158) allele of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder in men: case-control study and meta-analysis. Mol Psychiatry. 2007, 12: 556-561. 10.1038/

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Bittel DC, Butler MG: Prader-Willi syndrome: clinical genetics, cytogenetics and molecular biology. Expert Rev Mol Med. 2005, 7: 1-20. 10.1017/S1462399405009531.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Dykens EM, Leckman JF, Cassidy SB: Obsessions and compulsions in Prader-Willi syndrome. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1996, 37: 995-1002. 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1996.tb01496.x.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Dimitropoulos A, Feurer ID, Butler MG, Thompson T: Emergence of compulsive behavior and tantrums in children with Prader-Willi syndrome. Am J Ment Retard. 2001, 106: 39-51. 10.1352/0895-8017(2001)106<0039:EOCBAT>2.0.CO;2.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Clarke DJ, Boer H, Whittington J, Holland A, Butler J, Webb T: Prader-Willi syndrome, compulsive and ritualistic behaviours: the first population-based survey. Br J Psychiatry. 2002, 180: 358-362. 10.1192/bjp.180.4.358.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Wigren M, Hansen S: Rituals and compulsivity in Prader-Willi syndrome: profile and stability. J Intellect Disabil Res. 2003, 47: 428-438. 10.1046/j.1365-2788.2003.00515.x.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Kirchhoff M, Bisgaard AM, Bryndorf T, Gerdes T: MLPA analysis for a panel of syndromes with mental retardation reveals imbalances in 5.8% of patients with mental retardation and dysmorphic features, including duplications of the Sotos syndrome and Williams-Beuren syndrome regions. Eur J Med Genet. 2007, 50: 33-42. 10.1016/j.ejmg.2006.10.002.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Stachon AC, Baskin B, Smith AC, Shugar A, Cytrynbaum C, Fishman L, Mendoza-Londono R, Klatt R, Teebi A, Ray PN, et al: Molecular diagnosis of 22q11.2 deletion and duplication by multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification. Am J Med Genet A. 2007, 143A: 2924-2930. 10.1002/ajmg.a.32101.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV. 1994, Washington DC, American Psychiatric Association, 4

    Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Nurnberger JI, Blehar MC, Kaufmann CA, York-Cooler C, Simpson SG, Harkavy-Friedman J, Severe JB, Malaspina D, Reich T: Diagnostic interview for genetic studies. Rationale, unique features, and training. NIMH Genetics Initiative. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1994, 51: 849-859. discussion 863-844.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Orvaschel H, Puig-Antich J, Chambers W, Tabrizi MA, Johnson R: Retrospective assessment of prepubertal major depression with the Kiddie-SADS-e. J Am Acad Child Psychiatry. 1982, 21: 392-397. 10.1016/S0002-7138(09)60944-4.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Vorstman JA, Jalali GR, Rappaport EF, Hacker AM, Scott C, Emanuel BS: MLPA: a rapid, reliable, and sensitive method for detection and analysis of abnormalities of 22q. Hum Mutat. 2006, 27: 814-821. 10.1002/humu.20330.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Cai G, Edelmann L, Goldsmith JE, Cohen N, Nakamine A, Reichert JG, Hoffman EJ, Zurawiecki DM, Silverman JM, Hollander E, et al: Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification for genetic screening in autism spectrum disorders: efficient identification of known microduplications and identification of a novel microduplication in ASMT. BMC Med Genomics. 2008, 1: 50-10.1186/1755-8794-1-50.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Depienne C, Moreno-De-Luca D, Heron D, Bouteiller D, Gennetier A, Delorme R, Chaste P, Siffroi JP, Chantot-Bastaraud S, Benyahia B, et al: Screening for genomic rearrangements and methylation abnormalities of the 15q11-q13 region in autism spectrum disorders. Biol Psychiatry. 2009, 66: 349-359. 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.01.025.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Engels H, Brockschmidt A, Hoischen A, Landwehr C, Bosse K, Walldorf C, Toedt G, Radlwimmer B, Propping P, Lichter P, et al: DNA microarray analysis identifies candidate regions and genes in unexplained mental retardation. Neurology. 2007, 68: 743-750. 10.1212/01.wnl.0000256367.70365.e0.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Cook EH, Lindgren V, Leventhal BL, Courchesne R, Lincoln A, Shulman C, Lord C, Courchesne E: Autism or atypical autism in maternally but not paternally derived proximal 15q duplication. Am J Hum Genet. 1997, 60: 928-934.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Bolton PF, Dennis NR, Browne CE, Thomas NS, Veltman MW, Thompson RJ, Jacobs P: The phenotypic manifestations of interstitial duplications of proximal 15q with special reference to the autistic spectrum disorders. Am J Med Genet. 2001, 105: 675-685. 10.1002/ajmg.1551.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Ensenauer RE, Adeyinka A, Flynn HC, Michels VV, Lindor NM, Dawson DB, Thorland EC, Lorentz CP, Goldstein JL, McDonald MT, et al: Microduplication 22q11.2, an emerging syndrome: clinical, cytogenetic, and molecular analysis of thirteen patients. Am J Hum Genet. 2003, 73: 1027-1040. 10.1086/378818.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Hassed SJ, Hopcus-Niccum D, Zhang L, Li S, Mulvihill JJ: A new genomic duplication syndrome complementary to the velocardiofacial (22q11 deletion) syndrome. Clin Genet. 2004, 65: 400-404. 10.1111/j.0009-9163.2004.0212.x.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    de La Rochebrochard C, Joly-Helas G, Goldenberg A, Durand I, Laquerriere A, Ickowicz V, Saugier-Veber P, Eurin D, Moirot H, Diguet A, et al: The intrafamilial variability of the 22q11.2 microduplication encompasses a spectrum from minor cognitive deficits to severe congenital anomalies. Am J Med Genet A. 2006, 140: 1608-1613.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Ou Z, Berg JS, Yonath H, Enciso VB, Miller DT, Picker J, Lenzi T, Keegan CE, Sutton VR, Belmont J, et al: Microduplications of 22q11.2 are frequently inherited and are associated with variable phenotypes. Genet Med. 2008, 10: 267-277. 10.1097/GIM.0b013e31816b64c2.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Wentzel C, Fernstrom M, Ohrner Y, Anneren G, Thuresson AC: Clinical variability of the 22q11.2 duplication syndrome. Eur J Med Genet. 2008, 51: 501-510. 10.1016/j.ejmg.2008.07.005.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Geller DA: The promise and challenge of obsessive-compulsive disorder research. Biol Psychiatry. 2007, 61: 263-265. 10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.12.012.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Autism Genome Project Consortium: Mapping autism risk loci using genetic linkage and chromosomal rearrangements. Nat Genet. 2007, 39: 319-328. 10.1038/ng1985.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    Stefansson H, Rujescu D, Cichon S, Pietilainen OP, Ingason A, Steinberg S, Fossdal R, Sigurdsson E, Sigmundsson T, Buizer-Voskamp JE, et al: Large recurrent microdeletions associated with schizophrenia. Nature. 2008, 455: 232-236. 10.1038/nature07229.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Walsh T, McClellan JM, McCarthy SE, Addington AM, Pierce SB, Cooper GM, Nord AS, Kusenda M, Malhotra D, Bhandari A, et al: Rare structural variants disrupt multiple genes in neurodevelopmental pathways in schizophrenia. Science. 2008, 320: 539-543. 10.1126/science.1155174.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Xu B, Roos JL, Levy S, van Rensburg EJ, Gogos JA, Karayiorgou M: Strong association of de novo copy number mutations with sporadic schizophrenia. Nat Genet. 2008, 40: 880-885. 10.1038/ng.162.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Pre-publication history

  1. The pre-publication history for this paper can be accessed here:

Download references


We are grateful to the patients and their families who made this research possible. We thank the Centre d'Investigations Cliniques of the Robert Debré hospital (Prof. Jacz-Aigrain) and the cell bank of the Cochin hospital (Prof. Delpech) for their technical assistance in the blood sampling and cell line immortalization of the French families. Drs. F. Rampacher, S. Schulze-Rauschenbach, S. Ettelt, K. Meyer, S. Kraft, C. Reck, A. Vogeley are acknowledged for the clinical assessment of the German patients, and V. Guttenthaler and C. Hanses for expert technical assistance provided to the German research group. This research was supported by INSERM, Fondation de France, FondaMental Foundation, and the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Catalina Betancur.

Additional information

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

RD was responsible for the ascertainment of the patients from France, was involved in the coordination of the study and drafted the manuscript. DMD was involved in the molecular genetic studies and data analysis and helped to write the manuscript. AG carried out the MLPA experiments and participated in the analysis. WM, RM, HJG, SR, PF and MW recruited the German subjects. PC was involved in the evaluation of the French patients. MCM, ML and MW supervised the clinical evaluation of patients. CB conceived the study and coordinated it, supervised the molecular studies and was responsible for writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Richard Delorme, Daniel Moreno-De-Luca contributed equally to this work.

Authors’ original submitted files for images

Below are the links to the authors’ original submitted files for images.

Authors’ original file for figure 1

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Delorme, R., Moreno-De-Luca, D., Gennetier, A. et al. Search for copy number variants in chromosomes 15q11-q13 and 22q11.2 in obsessive compulsive disorder. BMC Med Genet 11, 100 (2010).

Download citation


  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Angelman Syndrome
  • Deletion Syndrome
  • Alagille Syndrome
  • 22q11 Deletion Syndrome