Support for involvement of glutamate decarboxylase 1 and neuropeptide Y in anxiety susceptibility. Academic Article uri icon


  • Genetic mapping efforts have identified putative susceptibility genes for human anxiety disorders. The most intensively studied genes are involved in neurotransmitter metabolism and signaling or stress response. In addition, neuropeptides and targets of anxiolytics have been examined. It has become apparent that geneenvironment interactions may explain individual variation in stress resilience and predisposition to mental disorders. We aimed to replicate previous genetic findings in 16 putative anxiety susceptibility genes and further test whether they modulate the risk for developing an anxiety disorder in adulthood after childhood stress exposure. We tested 93 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for genetic association to anxiety disorders in the Finnish population-based Health 2000 sample (282 cases and 575 matched controls). In addition, we examined by logistic regression modeling whether the SNP genotypes modified the effect of the number of self-reported childhood adversities on anxiety disorder risk. The most significant evidence for association was observed in glutamate decarboxylase 1 (GAD1) with phobias (P=0.0005). A subsequent meta-analysis (N=1985) incorporating previously published findings supported involvement of a single GAD1 risk haplotype in determining susceptibility to a broad range of internalizing disorders (P=0.0009). We additionally found that SNPs and haplotypes in neuropeptide Y (NPY) modified the effect of childhood adversities on anxiety susceptibility (P=0.003). In conclusion, we provide further support for involvement of mainly GAD1, but also NPY in determining predisposition to anxiety disorders.

published proceedings

  • Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Donner, J., Sipil, T., Ripatti, S., Kananen, L., Chen, X., Kendler, K. S., ... Hovatta, I.

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Donner, Jonas||Sipilä, Tessa||Ripatti, Samuli||Kananen, Laura||Chen, Xiangning||Kendler, Kenneth S||Lönnqvist, Jouko||Pirkola, Sami||Hettema, John M||Hovatta, Iiris

publication date

  • April 2012