Hair cortisol in twins: Heritability and genetic overlap with psychological variables and stress-system genes

Rietschel, Liz; Streit, F; Zhu, G; McAloney, K; Frank, J; Couvy-Duchesne, B; Witt, SH; Binz, TM; CORtisolNETwork (CORNET), Consortium; Major Depressive Disorder Working Group of the Psychiatric, Genomics Consortium (PGC); McGrath, J; Hickie, I; Hansell, NK; Wright, MJ; Gillespie, NA; Forstner, AJ; Schulze, TG; Wüst, S; Nöthen, MM; Baumgartner, MR; ... (2017). Hair cortisol in twins: Heritability and genetic overlap with psychological variables and stress-system genes. Scientific Reports, 7(1), p. 15351. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/s41598-017-11852-3

[img]
Preview
Text
s41598-017-11852-3.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (1MB) | Preview

Hair cortisol concentration (HCC) is a promising measure of long-term hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Previous research has suggested an association between HCC and psychological variables, and initial studies of inter-individual variance in HCC have implicated genetic factors. However, whether HCC and psychological variables share genetic risk factors remains unclear. The aims of the present twin study were to: (i) assess the heritability of HCC; (ii) estimate the phenotypic and genetic correlation between HPA axis activity and the psychological variables perceived stress, depressive symptoms, and neuroticism; using formal genetic twin models and molecular genetic methods, i.e. polygenic risk scores (PRS). HCC was measured in 671 adolescents and young adults. These included 115 monozygotic and 183 dizygotic twin-pairs. For 432 subjects PRS scores for plasma cortisol, major depression, and neuroticism were calculated using data from large genome wide association studies. The twin model revealed a heritability for HCC of 72%. No significant phenotypic or genetic correlation was found between HCC and the three psychological variables of interest. PRS did not explain variance in HCC. The present data suggest that HCC is highly heritable. However, the data do not support a strong biological link between HCC and any of the investigated psychological variables.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Research Division

UniBE Contributor:

Rietschel, Liz

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

2045-2322

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Livia Hug

Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2018 09:50

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 17:59

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/s41598-017-11852-3

PubMed ID:

29127340

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.109301

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/109301

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback