Longevity candidate genes and their association with personality traits in the elderly.
ABSTRACT Human longevity and personality traits are both heritable and are consistently linked at the phenotypic level. We test the hypothesis that candidate genes influencing longevity in lower organisms are associated with variance in the five major dimensions of human personality (measured by the NEO-FFI and IPIP inventories) plus related mood states of anxiety and depression. Seventy single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in six brain expressed, longevity candidate genes (AFG3L2, FRAP1, MAT1A, MAT2A, SYNJ1, and SYNJ2) were typed in over 1,000 70-year old participants from the Lothian Birth Cohort of 1936 (LBC1936). No SNPs were associated with the personality and psychological distress traits at a Bonferroni corrected level of significance (P < 0.0002), but there was an over-representation of nominally significant (P < 0.05) SNPs in the synaptojanin-2 (SYNJ2) gene associated with agreeableness and symptoms of depression. Eight SNPs which showed nominally significant association across personality measurement instruments were tested in an extremely large replication sample of 17,106 participants. SNP rs350292, in SYNJ2, was significant: the minor allele was associated with an average decrease in NEO agreeableness scale scores of 0.25 points, and 0.67 points in the restricted analysis of elderly cohorts (most aged >60 years). Because we selected a specific set of longevity genes based on functional genomics findings, further research on other longevity gene candidates is warranted to discover whether they are relevant candidates for personality and psychological distress traits.
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ABSTRACT: Gene microarrays may enable the elucidation of neurobiological changes underlying the pathophysiology and treatment of major depression. However, previous studies of antidepressant treatments were performed in healthy normal rather than 'depressed' animals. Since antidepressants are devoid of mood-changing effects in normal individuals, the clinically relevant rodent transcriptional changes could remain undetected. We investigated antidepressant-related transcriptome changes in a corticolimbic network of mood regulation in the context of the unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS), a naturalistic model of depression based on socio-environmental stressors. Mice subjected to a 7-week UCMS displayed a progressive coat state deterioration, reduced weight gain, and increased agonistic and emotion-related behaviors. Chronic administration of an effective (fluoxetine) or putative antidepressant (corticotropin-releasing factor-1 (CRF1) antagonist, SSR125543) reversed all physical and behavioral effects. Changes in gene expression differed among cingulate cortex (CC), amygdala (AMY) and dentate gyrus (DG) and were extensively reversed by both drugs in CC and AMY, and to a lesser extent in DG. Fluoxetine and SSR125543 also induced additional and very similar molecular profiles in UCMS-treated mice, but the effects of the same drug differed considerably between control and UCMS states. These studies established on a large-scale that the molecular impacts of antidepressants are region-specific and state-dependent, revealed common transcriptional changes downstream from different antidepressant treatments and supported CRF1 targeting as an effective therapeutic strategy. Correlations between UCMS, drug treatments, and gene expression suggest distinct AMY neuronal and oligodendrocyte molecular phenotypes as candidate systems for mood regulation and therapeutic interventions.Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 07/2008; 34(6):1363-80. · 6.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine whether the offspring of centenarians have personality characteristics that are distinct from the general population. Case-control. Nationwide U.S. sample. Unrelated offspring of centenarians (n=246, mean age 75) were compared with published norms. Using the NEO-Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) questionnaire, measures of the personality traits neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were obtained. T-scores and percentiles were calculated according to sex and used to interpret the results. Male and female offspring of centenarians scored in the low range of published norms for neuroticism and in the high range for extraversion. The women also scored comparatively high in agreeableness. Otherwise, both sexes scored within normal range for conscientiousness and openness, and the men scored within normal range for agreeableness. Specific personality traits may be important to the relative successful aging demonstrated by the offspring of centenarians. Similarities across four of the five domains between male and female offspring is noteworthy and may relate to their successful aging. Measures of personality are an important phenotype to include in studies that assess genetic and environmental influences of longevity and successful aging.Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 05/2009; 57(4):683-5. · 3.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Major depressive disorder is one of the most common and devastating psychiatric disorders. To identify candidate mechanisms for major depressive disorder, we compared gene expression in the temporal cortex from 12 patients with major depressive disorder and 14 matched controls using Affymetrix HgU95A microarrays. Significant expression changes were revealed in families of genes involved in neurodevelopment, signal transduction and cell communication. Among these, the expression of 17 genes related to oligodendrocyte function was significantly (P < 0.05, fold change > 1.4) decreased in patients with major depressive disorder. Eight of these 17 genes encode structural components of myelin (CNP, MAG, MAL, MOG, MOBP, PMP22, PLLP, PLP1). Five other genes encode enzymes involved in the synthesis of myelin constituents (ASPA, UGT8), or are essential in regulation of myelin formation (ENPP2, EDG2, TF, KLK6). One gene, that is, SOX10, encodes a transcription factor regulating other myelination-related genes. OLIG2 is a transcription factor present exclusively in oligodendrocytes and oligodendrocyte precursors. Another gene, ERBB3, is involved in oligodendrocyte differentiation. In addition to myelination-related genes, there were significant changes in multiple genes involved in axonal growth/synaptic function. These findings suggest that major depressive disorder may be associated with changes in cell communication and signal transduction mechanisms that contribute to abnormalities in oligodendroglia and synaptic function. Taken together with other studies, these findings indicate that major depressive disorder may share common oligodendroglial abnormalities with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.Molecular Psychiatry 03/2005; 10(3):309-22. · 14.90 Impact Factor