Associations between common arginine vasopressin 1b receptor and glucocorticoid receptor receptor gene variants and HPA axis responses to psychosocial stress in a child psychiatric population
Van Broeckhoven, Christine
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Psychiatry research. - Amsterdam
, p. 64-68
University of Antwerp
On the one hand, a suitable response to daily stressors is crucial for adequate functioning in any natural environment. On the other hand, depending on the individual's genetic makeup, prolonged stress that is accompanied by an inappropriate level of responsiveness may lead to physiological and psychiatric disorders. Several psychiatric conditions have been linked with stress and alterations in hypothalamicpituitaryadrenal (HPA) activity.While stress is a general phenomenon, illness is only seen in a proportion of individuals, suggesting that genetic factorsmay play a role in the ability to cope with stress. In children, relatively little research has been conducted to determine the impact of genetic factors on the variability in HPA axis functioning. In the present exploratory investigation, 106 prepubertal children were studied to estimate the impact of four glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) polymorphisms (NR3C1-1 [rs10482605], ER22/23EK [rs6190], N363S [rs6195], N766N [rs6196]) and five arginine vasopressin (AVP) receptor 1b gene (AVPR1b) polymorphisms (AVPR1b_s1 [rs28536160], AVPR1b_s2 [rs28373064], AVPR1b_s3 [rs33976516], AVPR1b_s4 [rs33985287], AVPR1b_s5 [rs33933482]) on cortisol responses after a psychosocial stress test (public speaking task). ER22/23EK carriers had significantly lower cortisol responses to psychosocial stress comparedwith noncarriers. These findings provide evidence for the relevance of the ER22/23EK polymorphismin childhood HPA axis regulation. However, the small number of ER22/23EK subjects does not allow us to draw definitive conclusions about the genotypic effect.