Cross-cultural gene- environment interactions in depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the cortisol awakening response: FKBP5 polymorphisms and childhood trauma in South Asia.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Despite increased attention to global mental health, psychiatric genetic research has been dominated by studies in high-income countries, especially with populations of European descent. The objective of this study was to assess single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the FKBP5 gene in a population living in South Asia. Among adults in Nepal, depression was assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C), and childhood maltreatment with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). FKBP5 SNPs were genotyped for 682 participants. Cortisol awakening response (CAR) was assessed in a subsample of 118 participants over 3 days. The FKBP5 tag-SNP rs9296158 showed a main effect on depressive symptoms (p = 0.03). Interaction of rs9296158 and childhood maltreatment predicted adult depressive symptoms (p = 0.02) but not PTSD. Childhood maltreatment associated with endocrine response in individuals homozygous for the A allele, demonstrated by a negative CAR and overall hypocortisolaemia in the rs9296158 AA genotype and childhood maltreatment group (p < 0.001). This study replicated findings related to FKBP5 and depression but not PTSD. Gene-environment studies should take differences in prevalence and cultural significance of phenotypes and exposures into account when interpreting cross-cultural findings.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kohrt, BA; Worthman, CM; Ressler, KJ; Mercer, KB; Upadhaya, N; Koirala, S; Nepal, MK; Sharma, VD; Binder, EB

Published Date

  • 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 180 - 196

PubMed ID

  • 26100613

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4623577

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1369-1627

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3109/09540261.2015.1020052


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England