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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    • "Regarding BDNF Val66Met and life stress associations, a recent review and meta-analysis (Hosang et al., 2014) suggested that higher depression risk in Met-allele carriers is present if recent stressful life events (SLE-s) but not childhood adversity are used to classify environment. In addition, G Â E interaction effects on neuroticism (e.g., Rettew et al., 2006; Kurrikoff et al., 2012), and highly related psychiatric syndromes such as depression and anxiety (e.g., Kendler and Gardner, 2014), can be highly gender dependent and therefore analysis of associations of any plasticity gene variant with mental health outcomes should consider gender as a factor in developmental trajectories. "
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    ABSTRACT: The brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism and life stress have been associated with negative emotionality (e.g., neuroticism), but relevant evidence is far from unequivocal. Possible confounding factors include the type and timing of stressful events measured, such as childhood adversity vs. recent stressful events, and variable gene×environment interactions. The aim of this study was to longitudinally assess the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and environment interaction effect on neuroticism in a population representative sample, depending upon the type of stress, gender and family relations. In the original older cohort of the Estonian Children Personality Behavior and Health Study (ECPBHS, n=593), neuroticism was measured at age 15 (parental assessment), 18 and 25 (self-assessments). Childhood stress was reported at age 15, quality of family relations was measured at age 18, and recent stressful life events at age 25. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism interacted with recent stressful life events, but not with childhood adversities, to impact neuroticism. Interestingly, in female participants, neuroticism at age 18 predicted future stressful life events dependent upon genotype: individuals with Val/Val genotype and high neuroticism experienced higher, but Met-allele carriers with high neuroticism lower stress exposure at age 25. Similar tendencies were observed using parental assessments at age 15. The protective effect of Met-allele in the high stress exposure group could result from better early family environment. In conclusion, we herewith provide further evidence for a role of BDNF gene variance contributing to plasticity in response to environmental demands.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
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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: The oxidative imbalance appears to have an important role in anxiety development. Studies in both humans and animals have shown a strong correlation between anxiety and oxidative stress. In humans, for example, the increased malondialdehyde levels and discrepancies in antioxidant enzymes in erythrocytes have been observed. In animals, several studies also show that anxiety-like behavior is related to the oxidative imbalance. Moreover, anxiety-like behavior can be caused by pharmacological-induced oxidative stress. Studies using knockout or overexpression of antioxidant enzymes have shown a relationship between anxiety-like behavior and oxidative stress. Related factors of oxidative stress that could influence anxious behavior are revised, including impaired function of different mitochondrial proteins, inflammatory cytokines, and neurotrophic factors. It has been suggested that a therapy specifically focus in reducing reactive species production may have a beneficial effect in reducing anxiety. However, the neurobiological pathways underlying the effect of oxidative stress on anxiety symptoms are not fully comprehended. The challenge now is to identify the oxidative stress mechanisms likely to be involved in the induction of anxiety symptoms. Understanding these pathways could help to clarify the neurobiology of the anxiety disorder and provide tools for new discovery in therapies and preventive strategies.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Current Neuropharmacology
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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.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Acta Neuropsychiatrica
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