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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 Sep;66(9):978-85. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.114.

Protective effect of CRHR1 gene variants on the development of adult depression following childhood maltreatment: replication and extension.

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1
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Duke University, 2020 W Main St, Ste 201, Durham, NC 27708, USA. gvp.ez@terra.com.br

Abstract

CONTEXT:

A previous study reported a gene x environment interaction in which a haplotype in the corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 gene (CRHR1) was associated with protection against adult depressive symptoms in individuals who were maltreated as children (as assessed by the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire [CTQ]).

OBJECTIVE:

To replicate the interaction between childhood maltreatment and a TAT haplotype formed by rs7209436, rs110402, and rs242924 in CRHR1, predicting adult depression.

DESIGN:

Two prospective longitudinal cohort studies.

SETTING:

England and New Zealand.

PARTICIPANTS:

Participants in the first sample were women in the E-Risk Study (N = 1116), followed up to age 40 years with 96% retention. Participants in the second sample were men and women in the Dunedin Study (N = 1037), followed up to age 32 years with 96% retention. Main Outcome Measure Research diagnoses of past-year and recurrent major depressive disorder.

RESULTS:

In the E-Risk Study, the TAT haplotype was associated with a significant protective effect. In this effect, women who reported childhood maltreatment on the CTQ were protected against depression. In the Dunedin Study, which used a different type of measure of maltreatment, this finding was not replicated.

CONCLUSIONS:

A haplotype in CRHR1 has been suggested to exert a protective effect against adult depression among research participants who reported maltreatment on the CTQ, a measure that elicits emotional memories. This suggests the hypothesis that CRHR1's protective effect may relate to its function in the consolidation of memories of emotionally arousing experiences.

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