Hair Cortisol in Twins: Heritability and Genetic Overlap with Psychological Variables and Stress-System Genes

Liz Rietschel, Fabian Streit, Gu Zhu, Kerrie McAloney, Josef Frank, Baptiste Couvy-Duchesne, Stephanie H. Witt, Tina M. Binz, Jennifer L. Bolton, Caroline Hayward, Nese Direk, Anna Anderson, Jennifer Huffman, James F. Wilson, Harry Campbell, Igor Rudan, Alan Wright, Nicholas Hastie, Sarah H. Wild, Fleur P. VeldersAlbert Hofman, Andre G. Uitterlinden, Jari Lahti, Katri Räikkönen, Eero Kajantie, Elisabeth Widen, Aarno Palotie, Johan G. Eriksson, Marika Kaakinen, Marjo Riitta Järvelin, Nicholas J. Timpson, George Davey Smith, Susan M. Ring, David M. Evans, Beate St Pourcain, Toshiko Tanaka, Yuri Milaneschi, Stefania Bandinelli, Luigi Ferrucci, Pim Van Der Harst, Judith Gm Rosmalen, Stephen Jl Bakker, Niek Verweij, Robin Pf Dullaart, Anubha Mahajan, Cecilia M. Lindgren, Andrew Morris, Lars Lind, Erik Ingelsson, Laura N. Anderson, Craig E. Pennell, Stephen J. Lye, Stephen G. Matthews, Joel Eriksson, Dan Mellstrom, Claes Ohlsson, Jackie F. Price, Mark Wj Strachan, Rebecca M. Reynolds, Henning Tiemeier, Stephan Ripke, Manuel Mattheisen, Abdel Abdellaoui, Mark J. Adams, Esben Agerbo, Tracy M. Air, Till Fm Andlauer, Silviu Alin Bacanu, Marie Bækvad-Hansen, Aartjan Tf Beekman, David A. Bennett, Klaus Berger, Tim B. Bigdeli, Jonas Bybjerg-Grauholm, Enda M. Byrne, Na Cai, Enrique Castelao, Toni Kim Clarke, Jonathan Ri Coleman, Converge Consortium, Nick Craddock, Udo Dannlowski, Gareth Davies, Gail Davies, Eco J.C. De Geus, Philip De Jager, Ian J. Deary, Franziska Degenhardt, Erin C. Dunn, Erik A. Ehli, Thalia C. Eley, Valentina Escott-Price, Tõnu Esko, Hilary K. Finucane, Michael Gill, Scott D. Gordon, Jakob Grove, Lynsey S. Hall, Thomas F. Hansen, Christine Søholm Hansen, Andrew C. Heath, Anjali K. Henders, Stefan Herms, Per Hoffmann, Georg Homuth, Carsten Horn, Jouke Jan Hottenga, David Hougaard, Hailiang Huang, Marcus Ising, Rick Jansen, Eric Jorgenson, Stefan Kloiber, James A. Knowles, Warren W. Kretzschmar, Jesper Krogh, Zoltán Kutalik, Maren Lang, Glyn Lewis, Yihan Li, Donald J. MacIntyre, Pamela Af Madden, Jonathan Marchine, Hamdi Mbarek, Peter McGuffin, Divya Mehta, Andres Metspalu, Christel M. Middeldorp, Evelin Mihailov, Lili Milani, Grant W. Montgomery, Sara Mostafavi, Niamh Mullins, Matthias Nauck, Bernard Ng, Merete Nordentoft, Dale R. Nyholt, Michael C. O'Donovan, Paul F. O'Reilly, Hogni Oskarsson, Michael J. Owen, Sara A. Paciga, Carsten Bøcker Pedersen, Marianne Giørtz Pedersen, Nancy L. Pedersen, Michele L. Pergadia, Roseann E. Peterson, Erik Pettersson, Wouter J. Peyrot, David J. Porteous, Danielle Posthuma, James B. Potash, Jorge A. Quiroz, John P. Rice, Brien P. Riley, Margarita Rivera, Douglas M. Ruderfer, Saira Saeed Mirza, Robert Schoevers, Ling Shen, Jianxin Shi, Engilbert Sigurdsson, Grant Cb Sinnamon, Johannes H. Smit, Daniel J. Smith, Hreinn Stephansson, Stacy Steinberg, Jana Strohmaier, Katherine E. Tansey, Alexander Teumer, Wesley Thompson, Pippa A. Thomson, Thorgeir E. Thorgeirsson, Jens Treutlein, Maciej Trzaskowski, Daniel Umbricht, Sandra Van Der Auwera, Gerard Van Grootheest, Albert M. Van Hemert, Alexander Viktorin, Henry Völzke, Yunpeng Wang, Bradley T. Webb, Myrna M. Weissman, Jürgen Wellmann, Gonneke Willemsen, Hualin S. Xi, Bernhard T. Baune, Douglas H.R. Blackwood, Dorret I. Boomsma, Anders D. Børglum, Henriette N. Buttenschøn, Sven Cichon, Enrico Domenici, Jonathan Flint, Hans J. Grabe, Steven P. Hamilton, Kenneth S. Kendler, Qingqin S. Li, Susanne Lucae, Patrik K. Magnusson, Andrew M. McIntosh, Ole Mors, Preben Bo Mortensen, Bertram Müller-Myhsok, Brenda Wjh Penninx, Roy H. Perlis, Martin Preisig, Catherine Schaefer, Jordan W. Smoller, Kari Stephansson, Rudolf Uher, Thomas Werge, Ashley R. Winslow, Gerome Breen, Douglas F. Levinson, Cathryn M. Lewis, Naomi R. Wray, Patrick F. Sullivan, John McGrath, Ian B. Hickie, Narelle K. Hansell, Margaret J. Wright, Nathan A. Gillespie, Andreas J. Forstner, Thomas G. Schulze, Stefan Wüst, Markus M. Nöthen, Markus R. Baumgartner, Brian R. Walker, Andrew A. Crawford, Lucía Colodro-Conde, Sarah E. Medland, Nicholas G. Martin, Marcella Rietschel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hair cortisol concentration (HCC) is a promising measure of long-Term hypothalamus-pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Previous research has suggested an association between HCC and psychological variables, and initial studies of inter-individual variance in HCC have implicated genetic factors. However, whether HCC and psychological variables share genetic risk factors remains unclear. The aims of the present twin study were to: (i) assess the heritability of HCC; (ii) estimate the phenotypic and genetic correlation between HPA axis activity and the psychological variables perceived stress, depressive symptoms, and neuroticism; using formal genetic twin models and molecular genetic methods, i.e. polygenic risk scores (PRS). HCC was measured in 671 adolescents and young adults. These included 115 monozygotic and 183 dizygotic twin-pairs. For 432 subjects PRS scores for plasma cortisol, major depression, and neuroticism were calculated using data from large genome wide association studies. The twin model revealed a heritability for HCC of 72%. No significant phenotypic or genetic correlation was found between HCC and the three psychological variables of interest. PRS did not explain variance in HCC. The present data suggest that HCC is highly heritable. However, the data do not support a strong biological link between HCC and any of the investigated psychological variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15351
JournalScientific reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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