A population-specific HTR2B stop codon predisposes to severe impulsivity.
ABSTRACT: Impulsivity, describing action without foresight, is an important feature of several psychiatric diseases, suicidality and violent behaviour. The complex origins of impulsivity hinder identification of the genes influencing it and the diseases with which it is associated. Here we perform exon-focused sequencing of impulsive individuals in a founder population, targeting fourteen genes belonging to the serotonin and dopamine domain. A stop codon in HTR2B was identified that is common (minor allele frequency >?1%) but exclusive to Finnish people. Expression of the gene in the human brain was assessed, as well as the molecular functionality of the stop codon, which was associated with psychiatric diseases marked by impulsivity in both population and family-based analyses. Knockout of Htr2b increased impulsive behaviours in mice, indicative of predictive validity. Our study shows the potential for identifying and tracing effects of rare alleles in complex behavioural phenotypes using founder populations, and indicates a role for HTR2B in impulsivity.
Project description:Impulsivity, defined as the tendency to act without foresight, comprises a multitude of constructs and is associated with a variety of psychiatric disorders. Dissecting different aspects of impulsive behaviour and relating these to specific neurobiological circuits would improve our understanding of the etiology of complex behaviours for which impulsivity is key, and advance genetic studies in this behavioural domain. In this review, we will discuss the heritability of some impulsivity constructs and their possible use as endophenotypes (heritable, disease-associated intermediate phenotypes). Several functional genetic variants associated with impulsive behaviour have been identified by the candidate gene approach and re-sequencing, and whole genome strategies can be implemented for discovery of novel rare and common alleles influencing impulsivity. Via deep sequencing an uncommon HTR2B stop codon, common in one population, was discovered, with implications for understanding impulsive behaviour in both humans and rodents and for future gene discovery.
Project description:Impulsivity and hyperactivity share common ground with numerous mental disorders, including schizophrenia. Recently, a population-specific serotonin 2B (5-HT2B) receptor stop codon (ie, HTR2B Q20*) was reported to segregate with severely impulsive individuals, whereas 5-HT2B mutant (Htr2B(-/-)) mice also showed high impulsivity. Interestingly, in the same cohort, early-onset schizophrenia was more prevalent in HTR2B Q*20 carriers. However, the putative role of 5-HT2B receptor in the neurobiology of schizophrenia has never been investigated. We assessed the effects of the genetic and the pharmacological ablation of 5-HT2B receptors in mice subjected to a comprehensive series of behavioral test screenings for schizophrenic-like symptoms and investigated relevant dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurochemical alterations in the cortex and the striatum. Domains related to the positive, negative, and cognitive symptom clusters of schizophrenia were affected in Htr2B(-/-) mice, as shown by deficits in sensorimotor gating, in selective attention, in social interactions, and in learning and memory processes. In addition, Htr2B(-/-) mice presented with enhanced locomotor response to the psychostimulants dizocilpine and amphetamine, and with robust alterations in sleep architecture. Moreover, ablation of 5-HT2B receptors induced a region-selective decrease of dopamine and glutamate concentrations in the dorsal striatum. Importantly, selected schizophrenic-like phenotypes and endophenotypes were rescued by chronic haloperidol treatment. We report herein that 5-HT2B receptor deficiency confers a wide spectrum of antipsychotic-sensitive schizophrenic-like behavioral and psychopharmacological phenotypes in mice and provide first evidence for a role of 5-HT2B receptors in the neurobiology of psychotic disorders.
Project description:Cannabis use is increasing in the United States, as are its adverse effects. We investigated the genetics of an adverse consequence of cannabis use: cannabis-related aggression (CRA) using a genome-wide association study (GWAS) design. Our GWAS sample included 3269 African Americans (AAs) and 2546 European Americans (EAs). An additional 89 AA subjects from the Grady Trauma Project (GTP) were also examined using a proxy-phenotype replication approach. We identified genome-wide significant risk loci contributing to CRA in AAs at the serotonin receptor 2B receptor gene (HTR2B), and the lead SNP, HTR2B*rs17440378, showed nominal association to aggression in the GTP cohort of cannabis-exposed subjects. A priori evidence linked HTR2B to impulsivity/aggression but not to cannabis response. Human functional data regarding the HTR2B variant further supported our finding. Treating an Htr2b-/- knockout mouse with THC resulted in increased aggressive behavior, whereas wild-type mice following THC administration showed decreased aggression in the resident-intruder paradigm, demonstrating that HTR2B variation moderates the effects of cannabis on aggression. These concordant findings in mice and humans implicate HTR2B as a major locus associated with cannabis-induced aggression.
Project description:Maladaptive impulsivity is a core symptom in various psychiatric disorders. However, there is only limited evidence available on whether different measures of impulsivity represent largely unrelated aspects or a unitary construct. In a cross-species translational study, thirty rats were trained in impulsive choice (delayed reward task) and impulsive action (five-choice serial reaction time task) paradigms. The correlation between those measures was assessed during baseline performance and after pharmacological manipulations with the psychostimulant amphetamine and the norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine. In parallel, to validate the animal data, 101 human subjects performed analogous measures of impulsive choice (delay discounting task, DDT) and impulsive action (immediate and delayed memory task, IMT/DMT). Moreover, all subjects completed the Stop Signal Task (SST, as an additional measure of impulsive action) and filled out the Barratt impulsiveness scale (BIS-11). Correlations between DDT and IMT/DMT were determined and a principal component analysis was performed on all human measures of impulsivity. In both rats and humans measures of impulsive choice and impulsive action did not correlate. In rats the within-subject pharmacological effects of amphetamine and atomoxetine did not correlate between tasks, suggesting distinct underlying neural correlates. Furthermore, in humans, principal component analysis identified three independent factors: (1) self-reported impulsivity (BIS-11); (2) impulsive action (IMT/DMT and SST); (3) impulsive choice (DDT). This is the first study directly comparing aspects of impulsivity using a cross-species translational approach. The present data reveal the non-unitary nature of impulsivity on a behavioral and pharmacological level. Collectively, this warrants a stronger focus on the relative contribution of distinct forms of impulsivity in psychopathology.
Project description:Pathological impulsivity is a prominent feature in several psychiatric disorders, but detailed understanding of the specific neuronal processes underlying impulsive behavior is as yet lacking.As recent findings have suggested involvement of the brain cannabinoid system in impulsivity, the present study aimed at further elucidating the role of cannabinoid CB(1) receptor activation in distinct measures of impulsive behavior.The effects of the selective cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist, rimonabant (SR141716A) and agonist WIN55,212-2 were tested in various measures of impulsive behavior, namely, inhibitory control in a five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), impulsive choice in a delayed reward paradigm, and response inhibition in a stop-signal paradigm.In the 5-CSRTT, SR141716A dose-dependently improved inhibitory control by decreasing the number of premature responses. Furthermore, SR141716A slightly improved attentional function, increased correct response latency, but did not affect other parameters. The CB(1) receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 did not change inhibitory control in the 5-CSRTT and only increased response latencies and errors of omissions. Coadministration of WIN55,212-2 prevented the effects of SR141716A on inhibitory control in the 5-CSRTT. Impulsive choice and response inhibition were not affected by SR141716A at any dose, whereas WIN55,212-2 slightly impaired response inhibition but did not change impulsive choice.The present data suggest that particularly the endocannabinoid system seems involved in some measures of impulsivity and provides further evidence for the existence of distinct forms of impulsivity that can be pharmacologically dissociated.
Project description:Impulsivity is an endophenotype found in many psychiatric disorders including substance use disorders, pathological gambling, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Two behavioral features often considered in impulsive behavior are behavioral inhibition (impulsive action) and delayed gratification (impulsive choice). However, the extent to which these behavioral constructs represent distinct facets of behavior with discrete biological bases is unclear. To test the hypothesis that impulsive action and impulsive choice represent statistically independent behavioral constructs in mice, we collected behavioral measures of impulsivity in a single cohort of mice using well-validated operant behavioral paradigms. Mice with manipulation of serotonin 1B receptor (5-HT1BR) expression were included as a model of disordered impulsivity. A factor analysis was used to characterize correlations between the measures of impulsivity and to identify covariates. Using two approaches, we dissociated impulsive action from impulsive choice. First, the absence of 5-HT1BRs caused increased impulsive action, but not impulsive choice. Second, based on an exploratory factor analysis, a two-factor model described the data well, with measures of impulsive action and choice separating into two independent factors. A multiple-indicator multiple-causes analysis showed that 5-HT1BR expression and sex were significant covariates of impulsivity. Males displayed increased impulsivity in both dimensions, whereas 5-HT1BR expression was a predictor of increased impulsive action only. These data support the conclusion that impulsive action and impulsive choice are distinct behavioral phenotypes with dissociable biological influences that can be modeled in mice. Our work may help inform better classification, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric disorders, which present with disordered impulsivity.
Project description:Impulsivity describes the tendency to act prematurely without appropriate foresight and is symptomatic of a number of neuropsychiatric disorders. Although a number of genes for impulsivity have been identified, no study to date has carried out an unbiased, genome-wide approach to identify genetic markers associated with impulsivity in experimental animals. Herein we report a linkage study of a six-generational pedigree of adult rats phenotyped for one dimension of impulsivity, namely premature responding on the five-choice serial reaction time task, combined with genome wide sequencing and transcriptome analysis to identify candidate genes associated with the expression of the impulsivity trait. Premature responding was found to be heritable (h2?=?13-16%), with significant linkage (LOD 5.2) identified on chromosome 1. Fine mapping of this locus identified a number of polymorphic candidate genes, however only one, beta haemoglobin, was differentially expressed in both the founder strain and F6 generation. These findings provide novel insights into the genetic substrates and putative neurobiological mechanisms of impulsivity with broader translational relevance for impulsivity-related disorders in humans.
Project description:Theories of personality have posited an increased arousal response to external stimulation in impulsive individuals. However, there is a dearth of studies addressing the neural basis of this association.We recorded skin conductance in 26 individuals who were assessed with Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS-11) and performed a stop signal task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Imaging data were processed and modeled with Statistical Parametric Mapping. We used linear regressions to examine correlations between impulsivity and skin conductance response (SCR) to salient events, identify the neural substrates of arousal regulation, and examine the relationship between the regulatory mechanism and impulsivity.Across subjects, higher impulsivity is associated with greater SCR to stop trials. Activity of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) negatively correlated to and Granger caused skin conductance time course. Furthermore, higher impulsivity is associated with a lesser strength of Granger causality of vmPFC activity on skin conductance, consistent with diminished control of physiological arousal to external stimulation. When men (n = 14) and women (n = 12) were examined separately, however, there was evidence suggesting association between impulsivity and vmPFC regulation of arousal only in women.Together, these findings confirmed the link between Barratt impulsivity and heightened arousal to salient stimuli in both genders and suggested the neural bases of altered regulation of arousal in impulsive women. More research is needed to explore the neural processes of arousal regulation in impulsive individuals and in clinical conditions that implicate poor impulse control.
Project description:Adults who abuse substances are at increased risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Within this population, sexual risk behaviors have been associated with increased impulsivity. Studies in non-clinical populations showing gender-related differences in sexual decision-making and casual sexual partnering suggest impulsivity has a greater influence on men than women, but these differences have not been documented in substance-using patients. In a sample of 89 adults with recent cocaine use and receiving outpatient psychiatric treatment, we tested the hypothesis that gender moderates the effect of impulsivity on sexual risk-taking. Using logistic regression modeling, we tested the main and gender-moderated effects of task-related impulsivity on the probability of having a casual sexual partner and multiple sexual partners. Results confirmed a significant gender-by-impulsivity interaction; men who were more impulsive on a continuous performance task had significantly higher rates of sexual risk-taking than less impulsive men, but women's impulsivity was unrelated to these outcomes. Impulsive men were over three times as likely as less impulsive men to have a recent casual partner. Implications of these results and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Project description:Impulsivity is a personality trait associated with a heightened risk for drug use and other psychiatric conditions. Because impulsivity-related disorders typically emerge during adolescence, there has been interest in exploring methods for identifying adolescents that will be at risk to develop substance use disorders in adulthood. Here, we used a rodent model to assess inhibitory control (impulsive action) and impulsive decision making (impulsive choice) during adolescence (43-50 days old) or adulthood (93-100 days old) and then examined the impact of development on these impulsivity traits by re-testing rats 50 days later. Impulsive action was not stable from adolescence to adulthood in male rats and was lowest in adult male rats, relative to adolescents and female rats. Impulsive choice was stable across development and unaffected by age or sex. Next, we examined the connection between our model of impulsivity and two measures relevant to substance abuse research: the initiation of voluntary alcohol drinking and dopamine D2 receptor (D2 R) expression in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex. Consumption of saccharin-sweetened ethanol during 30-minute sessions in adulthood was associated with adolescent, but not adult, impulsive action, particularly in male rats. Prelimbic D2 R expression was reduced in individuals with high levels of impulsive choice, and this relationship appeared to be strongest among female rats. The results of this study demonstrate that impulsive choice, along with its connection to D2 R expression, is relatively unchanged by the process of development. For impulsive action, however, individual levels of impulsivity during adolescence predict drinking in adulthood despite changes in the measure during development.