1J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford) 2010 May 24: 677-82
TitleAssociation of HPA axis genes with suicidal behaviour in schizophrenia.
AbstractFamily, adoption and twin studies show that genetics influences suicidal behaviour, but do not indicate specific susceptibility variants. Stress response is thought to be mediated by the corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which is known to be a regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal pathway (HPA). Alterations in HPA system have been related to impulsivity, aggression and suicidal behaviour, common feature in schizophrenia. CRH is the hypothalamic factor that stimulates the pituitary gland. To search for markers conferring genetic susceptibility to suicide, we typed six HPA axis genes (CRH, CRHR1, CRHR2, CRHBP, MC2R, NC3R1) in a cohort of 231 subjects with schizophrenia in which 81 attempted suicide. The genotype analyses yielded significant association between CRH binding protein (CRHBP) and suicide attempt (P = 0.035). The genotype analysis for quantitative measures of suicidal behaviour showed no association. The interaction analysis showed a significant interaction between CRH receptor type 1 (CRHR1) and CRH binding protein (CRHBP) in influencing suicide attempt and the severity of suicidal behaviour. Current results show that genetic variation in HPA axis genes could be associated with suicidal behaviour in schizophrenia. This is to our knowledge the first study on suicidal behaviour investigating the interaction among the HPA axis genes.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
2Seishin Shinkeigaku Zasshi 2012 -1 114: 1063-9
Title[The pathophysiology and diagnosis of anxiety disorder].
AbstractIn addition to genetic factors, the role of epigenetic and other environmental factors in the promotion of anxiety disorder has attracted much attention in psychiatric research. When stress is encountered in the environment, the hypothalamus-pituitary adrenal system (HPA system) is activated and cortisol is secreted. CRHR gene function is closely related to this response. As a result of haplotype analysis of CRHR genes in depression and panic disorder patients, it was found that genetic polymorphism of CRHR1 and CRHR2 was related to both disorders. It is reported that abused children are more susceptible to developing depression and anxiety disorder upon reaching adulthood, but there also exist genetic polymorphisms that may moderate this relationship. Direct methylation of DNA (typically repressing gene expression) and modification of chromatin structure (complexes of histone proteins and DNA) via acetylation (typically facilitating gene expression) represent epigenetic modifications that are thought to influence behavioral phenotypes. For example, it is rare that schizophrenia develops in identical twins brought up together in the same environment, and thus phenotypic differences cannot be explained simply by genetic polymorphism. We also evaluated salivary cortisol and amylase reactivity (indices of the HPA system and sympathoadrenal medullary system, respectfully) after electrical stimulation stress and Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) administration. Here we found differences in the cortisol stress response between electrical stimulation and TSST stressors, in contrast to the theory of Selye. In addition, we found alterations in activity patterns and difficulties integrating sensorimotor information in panic disorder patients, suggesting links between sensorimotor integration and stress in panic disorder. Moreover, state and trait anxiety may be associated with stabilograph factors.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia