Psychopharmacology

, Volume 180, Issue 1, pp 95–99

Association of a functional BDNF polymorphism and anxiety-related personality traits

  • Undine E. Lang
  • Rainer Hellweg
  • Peter Kalus
  • Malek Bajbouj
  • Kirsten P. Lenzen
  • Thomas Sander
  • Dieter Kunz
  • Jürgen Gallinat
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-004-2137-7

Cite this article as:
Lang, U.E., Hellweg, R., Kalus, P. et al. Psychopharmacology (2005) 180: 95. doi:10.1007/s00213-004-2137-7

Abstract

Rationale

Converging lines of evidence point to brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as a factor in the pathophysiology of depression. Recently, it was shown that the Val allele of the BDNF Val66Met substitution polymorphism showed a significant association with higher mean neuroticism scores of the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) in healthy subjects, and previous studies suggested the Val allele to be increased in bipolar disorder families. The association to anxiety-related traits has not been investigated so far.

Methods

We tested a total of 343 unrelated subjects of German descent (171 male, 172 female, age: 39.0±14.6 years) who were carefully screened for psychiatric health. The self-ratable State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), which allows anxiety to be quantified as a comparatively stable personality trait, and the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) was applied.

Results

In the trait-related anxiety score, a significant (F=3.2, df=2, p<0.042) effect of the genotype was observed with higher levels of trait anxiety in Val/Val (35.0±7.4) compared to Val/Met (33.4±6.5) and Met/Met (32.0±4.6) genotypes. The NEO neuroticism scores were also higher in Val/Val (29.5±7.0) than in Val/Met (28.4±6.5) or Met/Met (26.8±5.8) genotype, but not at a significant rate.

Conclusions

Our findings support the hypothesis that anxiety- and depression-related personality traits are associated with the BDNF polymorphism although the explained variance is low.

Keywords

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Polymorphism Healthy volunteers Neuroticism NEO-five factor inventory (NEO-FFI) Anxiety State and trait anxiety inventory (STAI) 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Undine E. Lang
    • 1
  • Rainer Hellweg
    • 2
  • Peter Kalus
    • 3
  • Malek Bajbouj
    • 2
  • Kirsten P. Lenzen
    • 4
  • Thomas Sander
    • 4
  • Dieter Kunz
    • 3
  • Jürgen Gallinat
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of TuebingenTuebingenGermany
  2. 2.Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Medicine BerlinCampus Benjamin FranklinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Medicine BerlinCampus Charité MitteBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Gene Mapping CenterMax-Delbrück-CentrumBerlinGermany
  5. 5.Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik der Charité im St. Hedwig-KrankenhausBerlinGermany