NOS1AP is associated with increased severity of PTSD and depression in untreated combat veterans
Lawford, B. Morris, C.P., Swagell, C.D., Hughes, I.P., Young, R.M., & Voisey, J. (2013). NOS1AP is associated with increased severity of PTSD and depression in untreated combat veterans. Journal of Affective Disorders, 147, 1, 87 – 93.
Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depressive disorder are over represented in combat veterans. Veterans with both disorders have an increased risk of suicide. The nitric oxide synthase 1 adaptor protein (NOS1AP) gene, which modulates stress-evoked N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) activity, was investigated in combat veterans.
Method: A comprehensive genetic analysis of NOS1AP and its association with PTSD was investigated in Vietnam combat veterans with PTSD (n=121) and a group of healthy control individuals (n=237). PTSD patients were assessed for symptom severity and level of depression using the Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI).
Results: The G allele of NOS1AP SNP rs386231 was significantly associated with PTSD (p=0.002). Analysis of variance revealed significant differences in BDI-II and Mississippi scores between genotypes for rs386231 with the GG genotype associated with increased severity of depression (p=0.002 F=6.839) and higher Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD scores (p=0.033). Haplotype analysis revealed that the C/G haplotype (rs451275/rs386231) was significantly associated with PTSD (p=0.001). Limitations: The sample sizes in our study were not sufficient to detect SNP associations with very small effects. In addition the study was limited by its cross sectional design.
Conclusions: This is the first study reporting that a variant of the NOS1AP gene is associated with PTSD. Our data also suggest that a genetic variant in NOS1AP may increase the susceptibility to severe depression in patients with PTSD and increased risk for suicide.