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Replication of the association between CHRNA4 rs1044396 and harm avoidance in a large population-based sample

Item Type:Article
Title:Replication of the association between CHRNA4 rs1044396 and harm avoidance in a large population-based sample
Creators Name:Bey, K. and Lennertz, L. and Markett, S. and Petrovsky, N. and Gallinat, J. and Gruender, G. and Spreckelmeyer, K.N. and Wienker, T.F. and Mobascher, A. and Dahmen, N. and Thuerauf, N. and Kornhuber, J. and Kiefer, F. and Toliat, M.R. and Nuernberg, P. and Winterer, G. and Wagner, M.
Abstract:Harm avoidance is a personality trait characterized by excessive worrying and fear of uncertainty, which has repeatedly been related to anxiety disorders. Converging lines of research in rodents and humans point towards an involvement of the nicotinic cholinergic system in the modulation of anxiety. Most notably, the rs1044396 polymorphism in the CHRNA4 gene, which codes for the {alpha}4 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, has been linked to negative emotionality traits including harm avoidance in a recent study. Against this background, we investigated the association between harm avoidance and the rs1044396 polymorphism using data from N=1673 healthy subjects, which were collected in the context of the German multi-centre study 'Genetics of Nicotine Dependence and Neurobiological Phenotypes'. Homozygous carriers of the C-allele showed significantly higher levels of harm avoidance than homozygous T-allele carriers, with heterozygous subjects exhibiting intermediate scores. The effect was neither modulated by age or gender nor by smoking status. By replicating previous findings in a large population-based sample for the first time, the present study adds to the growing evidence suggesting an involvement of nicotinic cholinergic mechanism in anxiety and negative emotionality, which may pose an effective target for medical treatment.
Keywords:CHRNA4, Rs1044396, Harm Avoidance, TCI, Nicotine
Source:European Neuropsychopharmacology
Page Range:150-155
Date:January 2016
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.11.007
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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