These authors contributed equally to this work.
Plasma BDNF concentration, Val66Met genetic variant and depression-related personality traits
Article first published online: 22 MAR 2010
Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society. No claim to original US government works
Genes, Brain and Behavior
Volume 9, Issue 5, pages 512–518, July 2010
How to Cite
Terracciano, A., Martin, B., Ansari, D., Tanaka, T., Ferrucci, L., Maudsley, S., Mattson, M. P. and Costa, P. T. (2010), Plasma BDNF concentration, Val66Met genetic variant and depression-related personality traits. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 9: 512–518. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-183X.2010.00579.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 22 MAR 2010
- Received 06 January 2010, revised 09 February 2010, accepted for publication 27 February 2010
- BDNF Val66Met;
- brain-derived neurotrophic factor;
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulates synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis, and BDNF plasma and serum levels have been associated with depression, Alzheimer's disease, and other psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. In a relatively large community sample, drawn from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), we examine whether BDNF plasma concentration is associated with the Val66Met functional polymorphism of the BDNF gene (n = 335) and with depression-related personality traits assessed with the NEO-PI-R (n = 391). Plasma concentration of BDNF was not associated with the Val66Met variant in either men or women. However, in men, but not in women, BDNF plasma level was associated with personality traits linked to depression. Contrary to the notion that low BDNF is associated with negative outcomes, we found lower plasma levels in men who score lower on depression and vulnerability to stress (two facets of Neuroticism) and higher on Conscientiousness and Extraversion. These findings challenge the prevailing hypothesis that lower peripheral levels of BDNF are a marker of depression.