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An interaction of a NR3C1 polymorphism and antenatal solar activity impacts both hippocampus volume and neuroticism in adulthood.

Montag C, Eichner M, Markett S, Quesada CM, Schoene-Bake JC, Melchers M, Plieger T, Weber B, Reuter M - Front Hum Neurosci (2013)

Bottom Line: Antenatally, especially smoking or alcohol drinking habits of the mother dramatically influence the health of the child during pregnancy and even later on in life.The NR3C1 gene is the focus of interest, because of its influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and negative emotionality.The present findings should encourage researchers in psychology and psychiatry to include also environmental influences such as solar activity besides genetics to better understand the etiogenesis of psychiatric disorders.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany ; Center for Economics and Neuroscience, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The investigation of the interaction of genes and environment in the context of mental health and personality yields important new insights for a better understanding of human nature. Both antenatal and postnatal environmental factors have been considered as potential modulators of genetic activity. Antenatally, especially smoking or alcohol drinking habits of the mother dramatically influence the health of the child during pregnancy and even later on in life. In the present study we would like to introduce a more "distant" factor that is not under the control of the becoming mother but that nevertheless plays a potential role for the health of the unborn child later on in adulthood. Here, we retrospectively investigate the influence of solar activity (while the child is still in the uterus of the becoming mother) on brain structure (with a focus on hippocampus and amygdala volume) and personality in adulthood. We observe an interaction of a genetic variant (rs41423247) of the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) and solar activity in the first trimester after conception on both hippocampal volume and the personality trait neuroticism in adulthood in N = 254 participants. The NR3C1 gene is the focus of interest, because of its influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and negative emotionality. Carriers of the CC variant of rs41423247 grown in the womb under the influence of high sun radiation (high solar activity) show both the highest hippocampal volume in the left hemisphere and lowest neuroticism scores. The present findings should encourage researchers in psychology and psychiatry to include also environmental influences such as solar activity besides genetics to better understand the etiogenesis of psychiatric disorders.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Conditional model tested for indirect effects from genetics on personality. Unstandardized path coefficients are shown. On path a and b the coefficients refer to the interaction term. Bold figures are significant (p < 0.01).
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Figure 5: Conditional model tested for indirect effects from genetics on personality. Unstandardized path coefficients are shown. On path a and b the coefficients refer to the interaction term. Bold figures are significant (p < 0.01).

Mentions: To assess indirect effects between our variables (effects from genes via brain structure on personality) we used PROCESS for SPSS (Hayes, 2012, version B130612). The moderated mediation model we used for our findings is specified in PROCESS as model 21. For this analysis it is not possible to estimate an effect size of the conditional indirect effect. Our model assumes moderators on path a (the relation between gene and hippocampus volume is moderated by solar activity) and b (the relation between hippocampus volume and neuroticism is moderated by sex). Please see Figure 5. The conditional indirect effect of X (genetic variation on the gene NR3C1) on Y (the personality dimension neuroticism) through the mediator (brain structure) is defined as the product of the conditional effects of the moderations4. Hippocampus volume was regressed on the whole brain volume and neuroticism on age, using the resulting standardized residuals in the model instead of entering both as covariates. PROCESS provides a bootstrap option as a resampling method to statistically back up indirect effects. This method is more robust than others (see e.g., MacKinnon et al., 2004). Bootstrap samples were set to 1000 and confidence intervals were bias corrected. Both moderators were dichotomous. Therefore, indirect effects refer to groups of participants, either male or female with high or low solar activity. The predictor of the model, gene variant, was dichotomous (G±), too. In this case B indicates for which gene variant the hippocampus mediated the effect between gene and neuroticism.


An interaction of a NR3C1 polymorphism and antenatal solar activity impacts both hippocampus volume and neuroticism in adulthood.

Montag C, Eichner M, Markett S, Quesada CM, Schoene-Bake JC, Melchers M, Plieger T, Weber B, Reuter M - Front Hum Neurosci (2013)

Conditional model tested for indirect effects from genetics on personality. Unstandardized path coefficients are shown. On path a and b the coefficients refer to the interaction term. Bold figures are significant (p < 0.01).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3672672&req=5

Figure 5: Conditional model tested for indirect effects from genetics on personality. Unstandardized path coefficients are shown. On path a and b the coefficients refer to the interaction term. Bold figures are significant (p < 0.01).
Mentions: To assess indirect effects between our variables (effects from genes via brain structure on personality) we used PROCESS for SPSS (Hayes, 2012, version B130612). The moderated mediation model we used for our findings is specified in PROCESS as model 21. For this analysis it is not possible to estimate an effect size of the conditional indirect effect. Our model assumes moderators on path a (the relation between gene and hippocampus volume is moderated by solar activity) and b (the relation between hippocampus volume and neuroticism is moderated by sex). Please see Figure 5. The conditional indirect effect of X (genetic variation on the gene NR3C1) on Y (the personality dimension neuroticism) through the mediator (brain structure) is defined as the product of the conditional effects of the moderations4. Hippocampus volume was regressed on the whole brain volume and neuroticism on age, using the resulting standardized residuals in the model instead of entering both as covariates. PROCESS provides a bootstrap option as a resampling method to statistically back up indirect effects. This method is more robust than others (see e.g., MacKinnon et al., 2004). Bootstrap samples were set to 1000 and confidence intervals were bias corrected. Both moderators were dichotomous. Therefore, indirect effects refer to groups of participants, either male or female with high or low solar activity. The predictor of the model, gene variant, was dichotomous (G±), too. In this case B indicates for which gene variant the hippocampus mediated the effect between gene and neuroticism.

Bottom Line: Antenatally, especially smoking or alcohol drinking habits of the mother dramatically influence the health of the child during pregnancy and even later on in life.The NR3C1 gene is the focus of interest, because of its influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and negative emotionality.The present findings should encourage researchers in psychology and psychiatry to include also environmental influences such as solar activity besides genetics to better understand the etiogenesis of psychiatric disorders.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany ; Center for Economics and Neuroscience, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The investigation of the interaction of genes and environment in the context of mental health and personality yields important new insights for a better understanding of human nature. Both antenatal and postnatal environmental factors have been considered as potential modulators of genetic activity. Antenatally, especially smoking or alcohol drinking habits of the mother dramatically influence the health of the child during pregnancy and even later on in life. In the present study we would like to introduce a more "distant" factor that is not under the control of the becoming mother but that nevertheless plays a potential role for the health of the unborn child later on in adulthood. Here, we retrospectively investigate the influence of solar activity (while the child is still in the uterus of the becoming mother) on brain structure (with a focus on hippocampus and amygdala volume) and personality in adulthood. We observe an interaction of a genetic variant (rs41423247) of the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) and solar activity in the first trimester after conception on both hippocampal volume and the personality trait neuroticism in adulthood in N = 254 participants. The NR3C1 gene is the focus of interest, because of its influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and negative emotionality. Carriers of the CC variant of rs41423247 grown in the womb under the influence of high sun radiation (high solar activity) show both the highest hippocampal volume in the left hemisphere and lowest neuroticism scores. The present findings should encourage researchers in psychology and psychiatry to include also environmental influences such as solar activity besides genetics to better understand the etiogenesis of psychiatric disorders.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus