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Brain Sci. 2017 Jan 5;7(1). pii: E6. doi: 10.3390/brainsci7010006.

Relationships between GAT1 and PTSD, Depression, and Substance Use Disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA. bountres@musc.edu.
2
Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425-8350, USA. weiwe@musc.edu.
3
Virginia Institute for Psychiatry and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23219-1534, USA. Christina.sheerin@gmail.com.
4
Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425-8350, USA. chungd@musc.edu.
5
Virginia Institute for Psychiatry and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23219-1534, USA. Ananda.Amstadter@vcuhealth.org.
6
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC 29401, USA. mandel@musc.edu.
7
Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA. wanzh@musc.edu.
8
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC 29401, USA. wanzh@musc.edu.

Abstract

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) have large public health impacts. Therefore, researchers have attempted to identify those at greatest risk for these phenotypes. PTSD, MDD, and SUD are in part genetically influenced. Additionally, genes in the glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system are implicated in the encoding of emotional and fear memories, and thus may impact these phenotypes. The current study examined the associations of single nucleotide polymorphisms in GAT1 individually, and at the gene level, using a principal components (PC) approach, with PTSD, PTSD comorbid with MDD, and PTSD comorbid with SUD in 486 combat-exposed veterans.  Findings indicate that several GAT1 SNPs, as well as one of the GAT1 PCs, was associated with PTSD, with and without MDD and SUD comorbidity. The present study findings provide initial insights into one pathway by which shared genetic risk influences PTSD-MDD and PTSD-SUD comorbidities, and thus identify a high-risk group (based on genotype) on whom prevention and intervention efforts should be focused.

KEYWORDS:

GAT1; major depressive disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; substance use disorder; veterans

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