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Keywords:

  • SNP;
  • neuropeptide;
  • tachykinin;
  • gastrin-releasing peptide;
  • corticotropin releasing hormone

Abstract

Panic disorder (PD) is a debilitating anxiety disorder, characterized by recurrent episodes of intense fear that are accompanied by autonomic and psychological symptoms leading to behavioral impairment. Basic research implicates neuropeptide-signaling genes in the modulation of anxiety and stress. The genes encoding corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1), tachykinin receptor 1 (TACR1), gastrin releasing peptide (GRP), and gastrin releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) were selected as candidates for PD based on their biology. Linkage and association analysis in 120 multiplex U.S. PD pedigrees was performed using 21 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Parametric and non-parametric linkage tests in pedigrees, for single point and multipoint analysis, revealed limited support for genetic linkage to TACR1 (parametric and non-parametric lod scores ∼1). The family-based association test (FBAT) generated nominal support for allelic association in TACR1 (P = 0.02), and GRP (P = 0.02), findings which must be considered in the light of multiple comparisons. Further exploration of the GRP and TACR1 findings in large case-control PD samples may provide more definitive evidence implicating these loci in the genetic etiology of PD. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.