ABSTRACT: Different lines of evidence support BDNF as a candidate gene in mood and anxiety modulation. More recently, the Met allele of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism has been implicated in anxiety in animal models and anxiety-traits in humans. The aim of this study is to evaluate the a priori hypothesis that the association between anxiety disorders and Val66Met polymorphism at the BDNF gene would be replicated in a community sample of children and adolescents. 240 subjects from a total sample of 2457 children and adolescents aged 10-17 years from the public schools in the catchment area of the primary care unit of a university hospital participated in this case-control study and were assessed for psychopathology using the K-SADS-PL. A sample of saliva was collected for DNA analysis of Val66Met polymorphism. BDNF was the single gene evaluated in this sample. We found a significant association between carrying one copy of the Met allele and higher chance of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. The association remained positive even after the adjustment for potential confounders (228 subjects; OR=3.53 (CI95% 1.77-7.06; p<0.001)). Our results support the a priori hypothesis of an association between anxiety and the polymorphism Val66Met. To our knowledge, this is the first study documenting a potential role of this polymorphism in a community sample of anxious children and adolescents.
Neuroscience Letters 08/2011; 502(3):197-200. · 2.11 Impact Factor