Separate and combined effects of genetic variants and pre-treatment whole blood gene expression on response to exposure-based cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders

Jonathan Coleman, Kathryn J Lester, Susanna Roberts, Robert Keers, Sang Hyuck Lee, Simone De Jong, Helena Gaspar, Tobias Teismann, André Wannemüller, Silvia Schneider, Peter Jöhren, Jürgen Margraf, Gerome Breen, Thalia C Eley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Exposure-based cognitive behavioural therapy (eCBT) is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders. Response varies between individuals. Gene expression integrates genetic and environmental influences. We analysed the effect of gene expression and genetic markers separately and together on treatment response.

METHODS: Adult participants (n≤181) diagnosed with panic disorder or a specific phobia underwent eCBT as part of standard care. Percentage decrease in the Clinical Global Impression severity rating was assessed across treatment, and between baseline and a six month follow-up. Associations with treatment response were assessed using expression data from 3,233 probes, and expression profiles clustered in a data-driven and literature-driven manner. 3,343,497 genetic variants were used to predict treatment response alone and combined in polygenic risk scores. Genotype and expression data were combined in expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analyses.

RESULTS: Expression levels were not associated with either treatment phenotype in any analysis. 1,492 eQTLs were identified with q<0.05, but interactions between genetic variants and treatment response did not affect expression levels significantly. Genetic variants did not significantly predict treatment response alone or in polygenic risk scores.

CONCLUSIONS: We assessed gene expression alone and alongside genetic variants. No associations with treatment outcome were identified. Future studies require larger sample sizes to discover associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
JournalThe world journal of biological psychiatry : the official journal of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry
Early online date4 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jul 2016

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