Table of Contents
Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2010, Article ID 838164, 2 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/838164
Commentary

Benefits of Neuropsychiatric Phenomics: Example of the 5-Lipoxygenase-Leptin-Alzheimer Connection

Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Received 22 April 2010; Accepted 21 May 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hari Manev and Radmila Manev. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Phenomics is a systematic study of phenotypes on a genomewide scale that is expected to unravel, as of yet, unsuspected functional roles of the genome. It remains to be determined how to optimally approach and analyze the available phenomics databases to spearhead innovation in neuropsychiatry. By serendipitously connecting two unrelated phenotypes of increased blood levels of the adipokine leptin, a molecule that regulates appetite, in 5-lipoxygenase- (5-LOX) deficient mice and patients with a lower risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD), we postulated a leptin-mediated basis for beneficial effects of ALOX5 (a gene encoding 5-LOX) gene-deficiency in AD. We suggest that it might be possible to avoid relying on serendipity and develop data-mining tools capable of extracting from phenomics databases indications for such novel hypotheses. Hence, we provide an example of using a free-access Arrowsmith two-node search interface to identify ALOX5 as unsuspected putative mechanisms for the previously described clinical association between increased plasma levels of leptin and a lower risk of incident dementia and AD.