Genetic variant in CACNA1C is associated with PTSD in traumatized police officers /631/208/176/1988 /692/499 /45 /45/61 /45/23 article

Izabela M. Krzyzewska, Judith B.M. Ensink, Laura Nawijn, Adri N. Mul, Saskia B. Koch, Andrea Venema, Vinod Shankar, Jessie L. Frijling, Dirk J. Veltman, Ramon J.L. Lindauer, Miranda Olff, Marcel M.A.M. Mannens, Mirjam Van Zuiden, Peter Henneman

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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychiatric disorder that may develop after a traumatic event. Here we aimed to identify epigenetic and genetic loci associated with PTSD. We included 73 traumatized police officers with extreme phenotypes regarding symptom severity despite similar trauma history: n = 34 had PTSD and n = 39 had minimal PTSD symptoms. Epigenetic and genetic profiles were based on the Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. We searched for differentially methylated probes (DMPs) and differentially methylated regions (DMRs). For genetic associations we analyzed the CpG-SNPs present on the array. We detected no genome-wide significant DMPs and we did not replicate previously reported DMPs associated with PTSD. However, GSE analysis of the top 100 DMPs showed enrichment of three genes involved in the dopaminergic neurogenesis pathway. Furthermore, we observed a suggestive association of one relatively large DMR between patients and controls, which was located at the PAX8 gene and previously associated with other psychiatric disorders. Finally, we validated five PTSD-associated CpG-SNPs identified with the array using sanger sequencing. We subsequently replicated the association of one common SNP (rs1990322) in the CACNA1C locus with PTSD in an independent cohort of traumatized children. The CACNA1C locus was previously associated with other psychiatric disorders, but not yet with PTSD. Thus, despite the small sample size, inclusion of extreme symptom severity phenotypes in a highly homogenous traumatized cohort enabled detection of epigenetic and genetic loci associated with PTSD. Moreover, here we showed that genetically confounded 450K probes are informative for genetic association analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-257
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean journal of human genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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