Association of a functional variant of the nitric oxide synthase 1 gene with personality, anxiety, and depressiveness

University of Tartu.
Development and Psychopathology (Impact Factor: 4.89). 11/2012; 24(4):1225-35. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579412000661
Source: PubMed


A functional promoter polymorphism of the nitric oxide synthase 1 gene first exon 1f variable number tandem repeat (NOS1 ex1f-VNTR) is associated with impulsivity and related psychopathology. Facets of impulsivity are strongly associated with personality traits; maladaptive impulsivity with neuroticism; and adaptive impulsivity with extraversion. Both high neuroticism and low extraversion predict anxiety and depressive symptoms. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the NOS1 ex1f-VNTR genotype and possible interaction with environmental factors on personality, anxiety, and depressiveness in a population-representative sample. Short allele carriers had higher neuroticism and anxiety than individuals with the long/long (l/l) genotype. Male short/short homozygotes also had higher extraversion. In the face of environmental adversity, females with a short allele had higher scores of neuroticism, anxiety, and depressiveness compared to the l/l genotype. Males were more sensitive to environmental conditions when they had the l/l genotype and low extraversion. In conclusion, the NOS1 ex1f-VNTR influences personality and emotional regulation dependent on gender and environment. Together with previous findings on the effect of the NOS1 genotype on impulse control, these data suggest that NOS1 should be considered another plasticity gene, because its variants are associated with different coping strategies.

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    • "A recent study performed with adolescents showed an association of one polymorphism of the nitric oxide synthase 1 (NOS1 ex1f-VNTR) with anxiety state [142]. Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) is an enzyme that transforms arginine into nitric oxide (NO) and citrulline. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene promoter region includes a variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) associated with antisocial behaviour in adverse environment. We have examined the effect of the MAOA-uVNTR on mental health and academic success by using a population representative sample and a longitudinal design. Methods The data of the older cohort (n = 593, aged 15 years at the original sampling) of the longitudinal Estonian Children Personality, Behaviour and Health Study (ECPBHS) were used. Follow-ups were conducted at ages 18 and 25 years. Aggressiveness, inattention and hyperactivity were reported by class teachers or, at older age, self-reported. Stressful life events, psychological environment in the family and interactions between family members were self-reported. Data of general mental abilities and education were obtained at the age of 25, and lifetime psychiatric disorder assessment was carried out with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) interview. Results MAOA-uVNTR genotype had no independent effect on aggressiveness, hyperactive and inattentive symptoms, and neither was there a genotype interaction with adverse life events. Interestingly, the proportion of male subjects with higher education by the age of 25 was significantly larger among those with MAOA low-activity alleles (χ2 = 7.13; p = 0.008). Logistic regression revealed that MAOA low-activity alleles, higher mental abilities, occurrence of anxiety disorders and absence of substance-use disorder were significant independent predictors for higher education in male subjects. Conclusions In a population representative sample of young subjects, the MAOA-uVNTR ‘risk genotype’ predicted better life outcomes as expressed in higher level of education.
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Several studies have shown altered levels of nitric oxide (NO) and its stable metabolites (NOx (-)) in blood and cerebrospinal fluid of psychiatric patients. The aim of our study was to replicate previous findings and investigate the influence of the nitrinergic system in bipolar disorder and adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (aADHD) in particular. Methods: The concentrations of NO2 (-) and NO3 (-) in peripheral blood in a sample of aADHD, bipolar disorder (BPD) and controls were analysed. The sample was genotyped for a three marker haplotype in the NOS3 gene (rs2070744, rs1799983 and Intron 4 VNTR) and for genetic variants of the NOS1 gene (NOS1 ex 1c, NOS1 ex 1f). Finally, qRT PCR was performed. Results: We found significantly lower NOx (-) levels in BPD (p<0.001). rs2070744 T/T-carriers of the whole sample showed increased mRNA expression of NOS3 (p=0.05). Only in BPD an influence of rs2070744 was seen regarding NO metabolite levels; C/C carriers displayed lower NOx (-) levels (p=0.05). Conclusion: We could replicate and extend previous findings showing altered NOx (-) levels in BPD and an influence of NOS3 rs2070744 on NOS3 expression and NOx (-) concentration. Together, these data point to a role of the nitrinergic pathway in BPD.
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