Val66Met BDNF polymorphism as a vulnerability factor for inflammation-associated depressive symptoms in women with breast cancer.
ABSTRACT: Inflammation contributes to the development of depression in a subset of individuals, but risk factors that render certain individuals particularly vulnerable to inflammation-associated depression are undetermined. Drawing from animal studies showing that reduced neuroplasticity mediates effects of inflammation on depression, we hypothesized that individuals genetically predisposed to lower levels of neuroplasticity would be more susceptible to inflammation-associated depression. The current study examined whether the Met allele of the BDNF Val66met polymorphism, which predisposes individuals to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein vital for neuroplasticity, moderates the association between inflammation and depressive symptoms.Our sample was 112 women with early-stage breast cancer who had recently completed cancer treatment, which can activate inflammation. Participants provided blood for genotyping and assessment of circulating inflammatory markers, and completed a questionnaire assessing depressive symptoms, including somatic, affective, and cognitive dimensions.There was a significant interaction between C-reactive protein (CRP) and the BDNF Val66met polymorphism in predicting cognitive depressive symptoms (p=.004), such that higher CRP was related to more cognitive depressive symptoms among Met allele carriers, but not among Val/Val homozygotes. Post-hoc longitudinal analyses suggested that, for Met carriers, higher CRP at baseline predicted higher cognitive depressive symptoms across a one-year follow-up period (p<.001).The BDNF Met allele may be a risk factor for inflammation-associated cognitive depressive symptoms among breast cancer survivors. Women with breast cancer who carry this genotype may benefit from early identification and treatment.BDNF genotype is an indirect measure of BDNF protein levels.
Project description:The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met single nucleotide polymorphism may be associated with clinical and subsyndromal depression, but physical activity improves mood and increases BDNF expression. The aim of the study was to examine whether the BDNF polymorphism moderates an effect of physical activity on depressive symptoms. BDNF genotype, physical activity measured by the Paffenbarger Questionnaire, and depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiology Depression Scale (CES-D) were collected on 1072 participants (mean age=44). Multiple linear regression was used to examine the association between BDNF genotype, physical activity, and depressive symptoms. After adjusting for family income, age, and education, depressive symptoms were higher in Met carriers compared to Val homozygotes (p=0.03), but this was only significant in men. Physical activity was associated with fewer depressive symptoms, but only in women (p=0.01). BDNF genotype did not moderate the effect of physical activity on depressive symptoms (p=0.94). In midlife, the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism neither attenuates nor magnifies the effect of physical activity on depressive symptoms.
Project description:Functional genetic polymorphisms associated with Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and serotonin (5-HTTLPR) have demonstrated associations with depression in interaction with environmental stressors. In light of evidence for biological connections between BDNF and serotonin, it is prudent to consider genetic epistasis between variants in these genes in the development of depressive symptoms. The current study examined the effects of val66met, 5-HTTLPR, and family environment quality on youth depressive symptoms in adolescence and young adulthood in a longitudinal sample oversampled for maternal depression history. A differential susceptibility model was tested, comparing the effects of family environment on depression scores across different levels of a cumulative plasticity genotype, defined as presence of both, either, or neither plasticity alleles (defined here as val66met Met and 5-HTTLPR 'S'). Cumulative plasticity genotype interacted with family environment quality to predict depression among males and females at age 15. After age 15, however, the interaction of cumulative plasticity genotype and early family environment quality was only predictive of depression among females. Results supported a differential susceptibility model at age 15, such that plasticity allele presence was associated with more or less depressive symptoms depending on valence of the family environment, and a diathesis-stress model of gene-environment interaction after age 15. These findings, although preliminary because of the small sample size, support prior results indicating interactive effects of 5-HTTLPR, val66met, and environmental stress, and suggest that family environment may have a stronger influence on genetically susceptible women than men.
Project description:Disturbances of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling, which may occur among those with a polymorphism of the Val66Met gene, comprising a Met substitution for the Val allele, may be associated with depressive cognitions. However, presumed elevated BDNF levels among individuals with the Val/Val genotype, might confer increased responsivity to contextual challenges, thus fostering vulnerability to depression. In Study 1, among undergraduate students (N = 252), increased loneliness perceptions were accompanied with depressive symptoms. This relationship was moderated by self-efficacy and BDNF genotype, such that when individuals appraised high self-efficacy, those with the Val/Val genotype, compared to Met carriers, reported greater depression scores when they perceived feeling lonely. Study 2 revealed that among undergraduate students (N = 178), lower depressive scores were associated with increased problem-focused coping among Val/Val individuals, but not Met carriers. Moreover, with increased perceived loneliness, Val/Val carriers endorsed lower problem-focused coping. Findings suggest that Val/Val individuals may have adverse neurocognitive vulnerability to loneliness experiences.
Project description:Automatic semantic processing can be assessed using semantic priming paradigms. Individual differences in semantic priming have been associated with differences in executive functions. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met (substitution of valine (Val) to methionine (Met) at codon 66) polymorphism has been shown to be associated with executive functions as well as depression. Depression-associated variables such as depressed mood also moderated the relationship between BDNF Val66Met and executive functions in previous work. In this study, we therefore aimed at investigating whether BDNF Val66Met genotype modulates masked and unmasked semantic priming as well as executive functions and whether sadness is a moderator of these associations. We collected data of N?=?155 participants measuring reaction times (RTs) as well as error rates (ERs) in masked and unmasked semantic priming paradigms using a lexical decision task. We assessed the primary emotion of SADNESS using the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scale (ANPS) and working memory using digit span forward and backward tasks. Met+ carriers showed reduced RT priming and increased ER priming in the masked priming paradigm. Even though there was no direct association between BDNF Val66Met and executive functions, SADNESS significantly moderated the association between BDNF Val66Met and executive functions as well as masked RT priming. We suggest that Met+ individuals with low depressive tendencies have not only superior EF, but also a faster and more superficial processing style, compared with Val/Val homozygotes. However, in Met+ individuals, cognitive functioning exhibits a greater vulnerability to depressed emotionality compared with Val/Val homozygotes. Our study thus demonstrates how emotional and molecular genetic factors exert an interacting influence on higher-level cognition.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Both clinical and biological factors influence the course of depressive disorders. This study tested for associations between the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene at the Val66Met locus and the course of major depressive disorder (MDD). METHODS:Three hundred ten Korean subjects (209 patients, 101 controls) were genotyped for rs6265 at nucleotide 196 (G/A), which produces an amino acid substitution at codon 66 (Val66Met) of the gene for BDNF. Course of illness was evaluated both by chronicity of current episode (episode duration >24 months) and by the lifetime history of recurrences. RESULTS:Patients with the Met/Met BDNF genotype had a significantly higher rate of chronic depression than all others. There was a significant dose effect of the Met allele on chronicity. Compared with the Val/Val genotype, the relative risk of chronicity was 1.67 for the Val/Met genotype, and 2.58 for the Met/Met genotype. Lifetime history of recurrent episodes was not related to BDNF genotypes but was significantly associated with younger age of onset and with a history of depression in first degree relatives. CONCLUSION:BDNF genotyping may be informative for anticipating chronicity in major depression.
Project description:This study had two objectives: first, to determine the degree to which experiences of victimization by peers during adolescence led to a subsequent rise in depressive symptoms, and second, to identify genetic markers that predict depressive reactivity to victimization. We used a cohort sequential design to obtain a longitudinal sample of 1,475 adolescents (3,263 observations) in Grades 8 to 12 (56% female; 47% Black, 46% White). Multilevel growth curve models were used to assess whether victimization predicted depressive symptoms 6 months later, beyond baseline trajectories for depressive symptoms. We modeled the interactive effects of peer victimization with three genetic polymorphisms (on 5-HTTLPR, DRD2 TaqIA, and BDNF Val66Met) on depressive symptoms. Although victimization predicted subsequent depressive symptoms, there was substantial heterogeneity in the magnitude of the effect of victimization. Val alleles, associated with higher brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) functioning, predicted more sensitivity to victimization. Neither DRD2 TaqIA, a marker associated with dopaminergic functioning, nor 5-HTTLPR, a marker associated with serotonin activity, was associated with sensitivity to victimization. The social stress of peer victimization triggers depressive symptoms most strongly in individuals who are homozygous for the Val allele on the BDNF Val/Met polymorphism. This polymorphism has been linked with sensitivity to social defeat in animal models. Future research should explore behavioral, cognitive, and emotional explanations of the effects of BDNF Val/Met on responsivity to victimization.
Project description:Cross-sectional studies have demonstrated that the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met single-nucleotide polymorphism moderates the association between exposure to negative life events and depression outcomes. Yet, it is currently unclear whether this moderating effect is applicable to positive life events and if the moderating effect is stable over time. To address these gaps in the literature, we examined clinical and BDNF genotypic data from a 5-year prospective cohort of 310 primary care attendees. Primary care attendees were selected based on existence of depressive symptoms at screening. Depressive symptoms were assessed at baseline and annually for 5?years post-baseline using the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Linear mixed models assessed differences in depressive symptom severity over the 5-year follow-up period by BDNF Val66Met and history of life events, both negative and positive. Analysis identified a novel three-way interaction between the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism, history of severe childhood abuse, and time. Post hoc analysis stratified by time showed a two-way interaction between Val66Met and severe childhood abuse at baseline that was not detectable at any other time point. An interaction between Val66Met and positive life events was not detected. Our longitudinal results suggest that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism moderates the depressive symptom severity experienced by those with a history of severe childhood abuse but does so in a time-dependent manner. Our results further support the notion that gene-environment-depression interactions are dynamic and highlight the importance of longitudinal assessment of these interactions. Given these novel longitudinal findings; replication is required.
Project description:Depression has been associated with inflammation, and inflammation may both influence and interact with growth factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Both the functional Val66Met BDNF polymorphism (rs6265) and BDNF levels have been associated with depression. It is thus plausible that decreased BDNF could mediate and/or moderate cytokine-induced depression. We therefore prospectively employed the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) in 124 initially euthymic patients during treatment with interferon-alpha (IFN-?), assessing serum BDNF and rs6265. Using mixed-effect repeated measures, lower pretreatment BDNF was associated with higher depression symptoms during IFN-? treatment (F144,17.2=6.8; P<0.0001). However, although the Met allele was associated with lower BDNF levels (F1,83.0=5.0; P=0.03), it was only associated with increased MADRS scores (F4,8.9=20.3; P<0.001), and not the BDI-II or HADS. An exploratory comparison of individual BDI-II items indicated that the Met allele was associated with suicidal ideation, sadness, and worthlessness, but not neurovegetative symptoms. Conversely, the serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) short allele was associated with neurovegetative symptoms such as insomnia, poor appetite and fatigue, but not sadness, worthlessness, or suicidal ideation. IFN-? therapy further lowered BDNF serum levels (F4,37.7=5.0; P=0.003), but this decrease occurred regardless of depression development. The findings thus do not support the hypothesis that decreasing BDNF is the primary pathway by which IFN-? worsens depression. Nonetheless, the results support the hypothesis that BDNF levels influence resiliency against developing inflammatory cytokine-associated depression, and specifically to a subset of symptoms distinct from those influenced by 5-HTTLPR.
Project description:Several studies have shown that exercise improves cognitive functions and emotional behaviors. Positive effects of exercise have been associated with enhanced brain plasticity, adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, a substantial variability of individual response to exercise has been described, which may be accounted for by individual genetic variants. Here, we have assessed whether and how the common human BDNF Val66Met polymorphism influences the neurobiological effects modulated by exercise in BDNF Val66Met knock-in male mice. Wild-type (BDNFVal/Val) and homozygous BDNF Val66Met (BDNFMet/Met) male mice were housed in cages equipped with or without running wheels for 4 weeks. Changes in behavioral phenotype, hippocampal adult neurogenesis, and gene expression were evaluated in exercised and sedentary control mice. We found that exercise reduced the latency to feed in the novelty suppressed feeding and the immobility time in the forced swimming test in BDNFVal/Val but not in BDNFMet/Met mice. Hippocampal neurogenesis was reduced in BDNFMet/Met mice compared with BDNFVal/Val mice. BDNFMet/Met mice had lower basal BDNF protein levels in the hippocampus, which was not recovered following exercise. Moreover, exercise-induced expression of total BDNF, BDNF splice variants 1, 2, 4, 6 and fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 (FNDC5) mRNA levels were absent or reduced in the dentate gyrus of BDNFMet/Met mice. Exercise failed to enhance PGC-1? and FNDC5 mRNA levels in the BDNFMet/Met muscle. Overall these results indicate that, in adult male mice, the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism impairs the beneficial behavioral and neuroplasticity effects induced by physical exercise.
Project description:Nicotine withdrawal is characterized by both affective and cognitive symptoms. Identifying genetic polymorphisms that could affect the symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal are important in predicting withdrawal sensitivity and identifying personalized cessation therapies. In the current study we used a mouse model of a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism in the translated region of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene that substitutes a valine (Val) for a methionine (Met) amino acid (Val66Met) to examine the relationship between the Val66Met single nucleotide polymorphism and nicotine dependence.This study measured proBDNF and the BDNF prodomain levels following nicotine and nicotine withdrawal and examined a mouse model of a common polymorphism in this protein (BDNF(Met/Met)) in three behavioral paradigms: novelty-induced hypophagia, marble burying, and the open-field test.Using the BDNF knock-in mouse containing the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism we found: (1) blunted anxiety-like behavior in BDNF(Met/Met) mice following withdrawal in three behavioral paradigms: novelty-induced hypophagia, marble burying, and the open-field test; (2) the anxiolytic effects of chronic nicotine are absent in BDNF(Met/Met) mice; and (3) an increase in BDNF prodomain in BDNF(Met/Met) mice following nicotine withdrawal.Our study is the first to examine the effect of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on the affective symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine in mice. In these mice, a single-nucleotide polymorphism in the translated region of the BDNF gene can result in a blunted withdrawal, as measured by decreased anxiety-like behavior. The significant increase in the BDNF prodomain in BDNF(Met/Met) mice following nicotine cessation suggests a possible role of this ligand in the circuitry remodeling after withdrawal.