A functional NOS1 promoter polymorphism interacts with adverse environment on functional and dysfunctional impulsivity

Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University of Würzburg, Füchsleinstr. 15, 97080, Würzburg, Germany.
Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.88). 03/2011; 214(1):239-48. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-010-1915-7
Source: PubMed


Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS1) knockout results in increased impulsive aggression in mice under adverse housing conditions. In line with this, we have previously shown that a functional promoter polymorphism of NOS1, termed NOS1 ex1f-VNTR, is associated with impulsivity-related traits and related disorders.
This study aims to examine whether adverse environment interacts with the risk allele on impulsivity-related measures.
We here studied a population-based cohort of Estonian pupils, recruited at the age of 9 years and followed up for another 9 years. For 435 subjects, measures on impulsivity (Adaptive and Maladaptive Impulsivity Scale, BIS-11, Stop Signal data, and Visual Comparison Test, VCT), environmental conditions (stressful life events and family environment), and NOS1 ex1f-VNTR genotype were available.
We found a genotype main effect in that presence of a short NOS1 ex1f-VNTR allele was associated with higher levels of adaptive impulsivity, especially in males, but also worse performance in the VCT and the Stop Signal test. Both stressful life events as well as adverse family environment interacted with the risk genotype to increase maladaptive impulsivity.
This study provides further evidence that short alleles of NOS1 ex1f-VNTR go along with impulsive behavior. In the absence of adverse environmental conditions, this may lead to a beneficial effect as functional forms of impulsivity are affected. This however is reversed under negative conditions, as dysfunctional impulsivity is increased under these circumstances. This data provides evidence that NOS1 ex1f-VNTR is subject to balancing selection potentially explaining persistence of the risk allele in the population.

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    • "History of SLE was self-reported; the list of adverse life events varied across measurement times and consisted of 10–17 (dependent on the study wave) stressful experiences (Reif et al. 2011). Family relations were self-reported with the Tartu family relationships scale that consists of two higher order scales warmth and 2 Kariina Laas et al. "
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    ABSTRACT: The functional polymorphism Asn107Ile (rs324981, A > T) of the neuropeptide S receptor (NPSR1) gene is involved in the modulation of traits that affect alcohol use. Hence, we have examined whether the NPSR1 A/T polymorphism is associated with alcohol use disorders (AUD) and alcohol use in a population-representative sample. Lifetime AUD were assessed by the MINI psychiatric interview (n = 501) in the older cohort of the longitudinal Estonian Children Personality Behaviour and Health Study at age 25. Alcohol use, environmental adversities and personality were reported by both the younger (original n = 583) and the older cohort (original n = 593) in three study waves. NPSR1 associations with AUD and alcohol use differed by sex. In females, both AUD [odds ratio (OR) = 7.20 (0.94–55.0), P = 0.029] and harmful alcohol use were more prevalent in A-allele carriers. In contrast, in males, AUD was more frequent in T-allele carriers [OR = 2.75 (1.19–6.36), P = 0.017], especially if exposed to adverse environments at age 15 [OR = 10 (1.18–84.51), P = 0.019]. Alcohol use was higher in male T-allele carriers at ages 15 and 18 as well. Similarly to females, however, the risk allele for higher alcohol use for males at age 25 was the A-allele. Many of the effects on alcohol use were explained by genotype effects on measures of personality. In the general population, the NPSR1 Asn107Ile polymorphism is associated with AUD and alcohol consumption, dependent on sex, environment and age. The results are in line with the impulsivity and personality regulating role of the NPSR1.
    Addiction Biology 05/2014; 20(3). DOI:10.1111/adb.12149 · 5.36 Impact Factor
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    • "Recent studies have focused mainly on the serotonergic [4] and dopaminergic [5] system investigating the genetic background of impulsivity, and our group has also previously shown the importance of the interaction between these two systems [6]. Further studies showed an association between impulsivity and a functional dinucleotide repeat polymorphism in the promoter region of NOS1 gene (exon 1f-VNTR) [7], [8], and the rs11624704 of the neurexin gene (NRXN) was also suggested to contribute to the background of impulsivity [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Impulsivity is a personality trait of high impact and is connected with several types of maladaptive behavior and psychiatric diseases, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as pathological gambling and mood disorders. Polymorphic variants of the SNAP-25 gene emerged as putative genetic components of impulsivity, as SNAP-25 protein plays an important role in the central nervous system, and its SNPs are associated with several psychiatric disorders. In this study we aimed to investigate if polymorphisms in the regulatory regions of the SNAP-25 gene are in association with normal variability of impulsivity. Genotypes and haplotypes of two polymorphisms in the promoter (rs6077690 and rs6039769) and two SNPs in the 3' UTR (rs3746544 and rs1051312) of the SNAP-25 gene were determined in a healthy Hungarian population (N = 901) using PCR-RFLP or real-time PCR in combination with sequence specific probes. Significant association was found between the T-T 3' UTR haplotype and impulsivity, whereas no association could be detected with genotypes or haplotypes of the promoter loci. According to sequence alignment, the polymorphisms in the 3' UTR of the gene alter the binding site of microRNA-641, which was analyzed by luciferase reporter system. It was observed that haplotypes altering one or two nucleotides in the binding site of the seed region of microRNA-641 significantly increased the amount of generated protein in vitro. These findings support the role of polymorphic SNAP-25 variants both at psychogenetic and molecular biological levels.
    PLoS ONE 12/2013; 8(12):e84207. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0084207 · 3.23 Impact Factor
    • "Measures of impulsivity. We have previously reported on the effect of the NOS1 ex1f-VNTR genotype on impulsivity in this sample (Reif et al., 2011). In the current analysis, impulsivity measures were therefore used as covariates. "
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    Development and Psychopathology 11/2012; 24(4):1225-35. DOI:10.1017/S0954579412000661 · 4.89 Impact Factor
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