Protocol for a collaborative meta-analysis of 5-HTTLPR, stress, and depression.
ABSTRACT: Debate is ongoing about what role, if any, variation in the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) plays in depression. Some studies report an interaction between 5-HTTLPR variation and stressful life events affecting the risk for depression, others report a main effect of 5-HTTLPR variation on depression, while others find no evidence for either a main or interaction effect. Meta-analyses of multiple studies have also reached differing conclusions.To improve understanding of the combined roles of 5-HTTLPR variation and stress in the development of depression, we are conducting a meta-analysis of multiple independent datasets. This coordinated approach utilizes new analyses performed with centrally-developed, standardized scripts. This publication documents the protocol for this collaborative, consortium-based meta-analysis of 5-HTTLPR variation, stress, and depression.Our goal is to invite all datasets, published or unpublished, with 5-HTTLPR genotype and assessments of stress and depression for at least 300 subjects. This inclusive approach is to minimize potential impact from publication bias.This project currently includes investigators from 35 independent groups, providing data on at least N = 33,761 participants.The analytic plan was determined prior to starting data analysis. Analyses of individual study datasets will be performed by the investigators who collected the data using centrally-developed standardized analysis scripts to ensure a consistent analytical approach across sites. The consortium as a group will review and interpret the meta-analysis results.Variation in 5-HTTLPR is hypothesized to moderate the response to stress on depression. To test specific hypotheses about the role of 5-HTTLPR variation on depression, we will perform coordinated meta-analyses of de novo results obtained from all available data, using variables and analyses determined a priori. Primary analyses, based on the original 2003 report by Caspi and colleagues of a GxE interaction will be supplemented by secondary analyses to help interpret and clarify issues ranging from the mechanism of effect to heterogeneity among the contributing studies. Publication of this protocol serves to protect this project from biased reporting and to improve the ability of readers to interpret the results of this specific meta-analysis upon its completion.
Project description:The hypothesis that the S allele of the 5-HTTLPR serotonin transporter promoter region is associated with increased risk of depression, but only in individuals exposed to stressful situations, has generated much interest, research and controversy since first proposed in 2003. Multiple meta-analyses combining results from heterogeneous analyses have not settled the issue. To determine the magnitude of the interaction and the conditions under which it might be observed, we performed new analyses on 31 data sets containing 38?802 European ancestry subjects genotyped for 5-HTTLPR and assessed for depression and childhood maltreatment or other stressful life events, and meta-analysed the results. Analyses targeted two stressors (narrow, broad) and two depression outcomes (current, lifetime). All groups that published on this topic prior to the initiation of our study and met the assessment and sample size criteria were invited to participate. Additional groups, identified by consortium members or self-identified in response to our protocol (published prior to the start of analysis) with qualifying unpublished data, were also invited to participate. A uniform data analysis script implementing the protocol was executed by each of the consortium members. Our findings do not support the interaction hypothesis. We found no subgroups or variable definitions for which an interaction between stress and 5-HTTLPR genotype was statistically significant. In contrast, our findings for the main effects of life stressors (strong risk factor) and 5-HTTLPR genotype (no impact on risk) are strikingly consistent across our contributing studies, the original study reporting the interaction and subsequent meta-analyses. Our conclusion is that if an interaction exists in which the S allele of 5-HTTLPR increases risk of depression only in stressed individuals, then it is not broadly generalisable, but must be of modest effect size and only observable in limited situations.
Project description:We focused on individual risk by examining childhood adversity and current psychiatric symptoms in a sample of 100 college students genotyped for both the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Naturally occurring allelic variation in 5-HTTLPR (short/long) and BDNF (valine/methionine) have been strongly implicated in stress-related psychiatric risk, but the combined effects of these alleles on psychological functioning have yet to be fully elucidated. Univariate analysis revealed gene-environment correlations linking heightened psychiatric risk with past childhood adversity for short but not long 5-HTTLPR allelic carriers and for valine (Val) but not methionine (Met) BDNF allelic carriers. Multivariate analyses revealed a significant gene x gene interaction with results showing that risk varied systematically depending on both 5-HTTLPR and BDNF alleles, independent of childhood adversity. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that approximately 11% of the variance in symptoms of depression could be specifically accounted for by the epistatic interaction of 5-HTTLPR and BDNF val66Met polymorphisms. Allelic group analyses indicated lowest risk, as measured by depression and anxiety, for allelic carriers of 5-HTTLPR-short and BDNF Met, followed by 5-HTTLPR-long and BDNF-Val, 5-HTTLPR-short and BDNF-Val, and 5-HTTLPR-long and BDNF-Met. Results suggest that protective or risk-enhancing effects on stress-related psychiatric functioning may depend on specific allelic combinations of 5-HTTLPR and BDNF.
Project description:The serotonin-transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) is one of the most extensively investigated candidates to be involved in gene-environment interaction associated with depression. Nevertheless, the interaction remains controversial. In an original study, we tested the hypothesis that risk for use of antidepressants following a diagnosis of colorectal cancer is associated with bi- and triallelic genotypes of 5-HTTLPR. In addition, in an inclusive meta-analysis, we tested the hypothesis that depression following a diagnosis of cancer is associated with biallelic 5-HTTLPR genotype. We created an exposed-only cohort of 849 colorectal cancer patients from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort study. The hypothesized association was investigated with Cox regression models and competing risk analyses. Five studies comprising a total of 1484 cancer patients were included in the meta-analysis. Nationwide registries provided information on dates of diagnosis of colorectal cancer and use of antidepressants. Unadjusted odds ratios of depression according to the biallelic 5-HTTLPR genotype were included in the meta-analysis. 5-HTTLPR genotypes were not associated with use of antidepressants after colorectal cancer. Estimated hazard ratios ranged 0.92-1.08, and we observed no statistically significant associations across biallelic and triallelic genotypes in crude as well as adjusted models. The meta-analysis showed no statistically significant associations of 5-HTTLPR biallelic genotype with depression after cancer. Our findings in an original study and a meta-analysis do not support the hypothesis of an association between the 5-HTTLPR genotype and depression after cancer.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Recent meta-analyses have raised concerns about the replicability of gene × environment interactions involving the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) in moderating the associations between adverse life events and mental disorders. AIMS: To use data gathered over the course of a 30-year longitudinal study of a New Zealand birth cohort to test the hypothesis that the presence of short ('s') alleles of 5-HTTLPR are associated with an increased response to life stress. METHOD: Participants were 893 individuals from the Christchurch Health and Development Study who had complete data on: the 5-HTTLPR genotype; psychiatric disorders up to the age of 30; and exposure to childhood and adult adverse life events. RESULTS: A series of 104 regression models were fitted to four mental health outcomes (depressive symptoms, major depression, anxiety disorder and suicidal ideation) observed at ages 18, 21, 25 and 30 using 13 measures of life-course stress that spanned childhood and adult stressors. Both multiplicative and additive models were fitted to the data. No evidence was found that would support the hypothesis that 's' alleles of 5-HTTLPR are associated with increased responsivity to life stressors. CONCLUSIONS: The present findings add to the evidence suggesting that it is unlikely that there is a stable gene × environment interaction involving 5-HTTLPR, life stress and mental disorders.
Project description:Background: Recently, many case-control studies have reported the association between 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and autism risk. However, the results are inconclusive and conflicting. To investigate the genetic association of 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and autism risk, we conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis based on previous case-control studies. Methods: Literature search was performed through PubMed, Embase, Web of Knowledge and CNKI databases until June 27, 2018. The strength of the association was assessed by relative risk (RR) and its corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI). Fixed or random effect model was selected based on the results of heterogeneity test. Further, subgroup analyses were conducted to explore the association of 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and autism risk in different population. Results: Eleven studies with 930 cases and 1234 controls were identified. Although there was a significant association between 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and autism risk under the dominant model after removing the studies causing heterogeneity, the significance did not exist after Bonferroni's correction. Subgroup analyses also showed similar results after Bonferroni's correction. In addition, there was no obvious publication bias in our meta-analysis. Conclusions: Our present meta-analysis does not support a direct effect of 5-HTTLPR polymorphism on autism risk according to present results. Further analyses of the effect of genetic networks and more well designed studies with larger sample size are required.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To conduct a meta-analysis of all published genetic association studies of 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms performed in PTSD cases.<h4>Methods data sources</h4>Potential studies were identified through PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science databases (Web of Knowledge, WoK), PsychINFO, PsychArticles and HuGeNet (Human Genome Epidemiology Network) up until December 2011.<h4>Study selection</h4>Published observational studies reporting genotype or allele frequencies of this genetic factor in PTSD cases and in non-PTSD controls were all considered eligible for inclusion in this systematic review.<h4>Data extraction</h4>Two reviewers selected studies for possible inclusion and extracted data independently following a standardized protocol.<h4>Statistical analysis</h4>A biallelic and a triallelic meta-analysis, including the total S and S' frequencies, the dominant (S+/LL and S'+/L'L') and the recessive model (SS/L+ and S'S'/L'+), was performed with a random-effect model to calculate the pooled OR and its corresponding 95% CI. Forest plots and Cochran's Q-Statistic and I(2) index were calculated to check for heterogeneity. Subgroup analyses and meta-regression were carried out to analyze potential moderators. Publication bias and quality of reporting were also analyzed.<h4>Results</h4>13 studies met our inclusion criteria, providing a total sample of 1874 patients with PTSD and 7785 controls in the biallelic meta-analyses and 627 and 3524, respectively, in the triallelic. None of the meta-analyses showed evidence of an association between 5-HTTLPR and PTSD but several characteristics (exposure to the same principal stressor for PTSD cases and controls, adjustment for potential confounding variables, blind assessment, study design, type of PTSD, ethnic distribution and Total Quality Score) influenced the results in subgroup analyses and meta-regression. There was no evidence of potential publication bias.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Current evidence does not support a direct effect of 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms on PTSD. Further analyses of gene-environment interactions, epigenetic modulation and new studies with large samples and/or meta-analyses are required.
Project description:CONTEXT:Substantial resources are being devoted to identify candidate genes for complex mental and behavioral disorders through inclusion of environmental exposures following the report of an interaction between the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) and stressful life events on an increased risk of major depression. OBJECTIVE:To conduct a meta-analysis of the interaction between the serotonin transporter gene and stressful life events on depression using both published data and individual-level original data. DATA SOURCES:Search of PubMed, EMBASE, and PsycINFO databases through March 2009 yielded 26 studies of which 14 met criteria for the meta-analysis. STUDY SELECTION:Criteria for studies for the meta-analyses included published data on the association between 5-HTTLPR genotype (SS, SL, or LL), number of stressful life events (0, 1, 2, > or = 3) or equivalent, and a categorical measure of depression defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) or use of a cut point to define depression from standardized rating scales. To maximize our ability to use a common framework for variable definition, we also requested original data from all studies published prior to 2008 that met inclusion criteria. Of the 14 studies included in the meta-analysis, 10 were also included in a second sex-specific meta-analysis of original individual-level data. DATA EXTRACTION:Logistic regression was used to estimate the effects of the number of short alleles at 5-HTTLPR, the number of stressful life events, and their interaction on depression. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated separately for each study and then weighted averages of the individual estimates were obtained using random-effects meta-analysis. Both sex-combined and sex-specific meta-analyses were conducted. Of a total of 14,250 participants, 1769 were classified as having depression; 12,481 as not having depression. RESULTS:In the meta-analysis of published data, the number of stressful life events was significantly associated with depression (OR, 1.41; 95% CI,1.25-1.57). No association was found between 5-HTTLPR genotype and depression in any of the individual studies nor in the weighted average (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.98-1.13) and no interaction effect between genotype and stressful life events on depression was observed (OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.94-1.10). Comparable results were found in the sex-specific meta-analysis of individual-level data. CONCLUSION:This meta-analysis yielded no evidence that the serotonin transporter genotype alone or in interaction with stressful life events is associated with an elevated risk of depression in men alone, women alone, or in both sexes combined.
Project description:Scientific enthusiasm about gene × environment interactions, spurred by the 5-HTTLPR (serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region) × SLEs (stressful life events) interaction predicting depression, have recently been tempered by sober realizations of small effects and meta-analyses reaching opposing conclusions. These mixed findings highlight the need for further research. Converging evidence suggests that the effects of 5-HTTLPR genotype may be neurodevelopmental in origin, but we are not aware of empirical studies that have investigated whether the 5-HTTLPR genotype × SLE interaction predicts preschool-onset depression (PO-MDD), the earliest validated form of depression.Children (n = 234) aged 3-5 were recruited for a longitudinal study designed to examine PO-MDD. In a comprehensive baseline assessment, the child's primary caregivers completed questionnaires and were interviewed about their child's behaviors, psychiatric symptoms, and exposure to SLEs.A 5-HTTLPR × SLEs interaction emerged, such that children homozygous for the short allele were more susceptible to depression in the context of elevated SLE than long allele carriers. In contrast, at low SLE exposure, short allele homozygotes had fewer depressive symptoms. The data were best fit by a plasticity model with a substantial reduction in fit by diathesis-stress models.Extending studies in adult and adolescent populations, these data suggest that 5-HTTLPR genotype may provide plasticity to environmental influence, for better or worse. Specifically, children homozygous for the short allele were more susceptible to the depressogenic effects of SLEs but benefitted, in the form of reduced depressive symptoms, in the context of relatively benign environmental conditions (i.e. relatively low SLE exposure). These data highlight the importance of examining gene × environment interactions across development, environment, and outcome but should be interpreted cautiously given the small sample size.
Project description:Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and stress are significant problems among returning veterans and are associated with reduced quality of life.A correlational design was used to examine the impact of a polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) in the serotonin transporter promoter gene on post-deployment adjustment among returning veterans.A total of 186 returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were genotyped for the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism. Symptoms of PTSD, depression, general stress, and anxiety were assessed along with quality of life.After controlling for combat exposure, age, sex of the participant, and race, 5-HTTLPR had a significant multivariate effect on post-deployment adjustment, such that S' carriers reported more post-deployment adjustment problems and worse quality of life than veterans homozygous for the L' allele. This effect was larger when the analyses were restricted to veterans of European ancestry.Our findings suggest that veterans who carry the S' allele of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism may be at increased risk for adjustment problems and reduced quality of life following deployments to war zones.
Project description:This study examined whether polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter (SLC6A4, 5-HTTLPR) and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF Val66Met, rs6265) genes moderate the relationship between life stress and rumination. Participants were a large homogenous group of healthy, unmedicated, never depressed individuals with few current symptoms of depression (N = 273). Results indicate that individuals with two short (S) alleles of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism or two Met alleles of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism ruminate more under conditions of life stress, compared to the other genotypes. Moreover, the accumulation of risk alleles (i.e. S and Met alleles) across genes is associated with significantly greater rumination in the context of life stress. These results suggest that both 5-HTTLPR and BDNF Val66Met moderate the relationship between life stress and rumination. These findings support the notion that variation in these genes is associated with biological sensitivity to the negative effects of stress.