Genetic risk-factors for anxiety in healthy individuals: polymorphisms in genes important for the HPA axis
AuthorLindholm, Heléne; Morrison, India; Krettek, Alexandra; Malm, Dan; Novembre, Giovanni; Handlin, Linda
Methods - DNA from 72 healthy participants, 37 women and 35 men, were included in the analyses. Their DNA was extracted and analysed for the following Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP)s: rs41423247 in the NR3C1 gene, rs1360780 in the FKBP5 gene, rs53576 in the OXTR gene, 5-HTTLPR in SLC6A4 gene and rs6295 in the HTR1A gene. Self-assessed anxiety was measured by the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) questionnaire.
Results - Self-assessed measure of both STAI-S and STAI-T were significantly higher in female than in male participants (p = 0.030 and p = 0.036, respectively). For SNP rs41423247 in the NR3C1 gene, there was a significant difference in females in the score for STAI-S, where carriers of the G allele had higher scores compared to the females that were homozygous for the C allele (p < 0.01). For the SNP rs53576 in the OXTR gene, there was a significant difference in males, where carriers of the A allele had higher scores in STAI-T compared to the males that were homozygous for the G allele (p < 0.01).
Conclusion - This study shows that SNP rs41423247 in the NR3C1 gene and SNP rs53576 in the OXTR gene are associated with self-assessed anxiety in healthy individuals in a gender-specific manner. This suggests that these SNP candidates are possible genetic risk-factors for anxiety.