A SNP, gene and polygenic risk score approach of oxytocin-vasopressin genes in adolescents’ loneliness

M. Verhagen*, K. J. H. Verweij, Gerine Lodder, Luc Goossens, Karine Verschueren, K. Van Leeuwen, Wim Van den Noortgate, S. Claes, Patricia Bijttebier, E Van Assche, J. M. Vink

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Not much is known regarding underlying biological pathways to adolescents’ loneliness. Insight in underlying molecular mechanisms could inform intervention efforts aimed at reducing loneliness. Using latent growth curve modeling, baseline levels and development of loneliness were studied in two longitudinal adolescent samples. Genes (OXTR, OXT, AVPR1A, AVPR1B) were examined using SNP‐based, gene‐based, and polygenic risk score (PRS) approaches. In both samples, SNP‐ and gene‐based tests showed involvement of the OXTR gene in development of loneliness, though, significance levels did not survive correction for multiple testing. The PRS approach provided no evidence for relations with loneliness. We recommend alternative phenotyping methods, including environmental factors, to consider epigenetic studies, and to examine possible endophenotypes in relation to adolescents’ loneliness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-348
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume30
Issue numberS2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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Keywords

  • ANXIETY
  • ASSOCIATION
  • CHILDHOOD
  • ENVIRONMENTAL CONTRIBUTIONS
  • OXTR
  • PATHWAY GENES
  • PEER RELATIONS
  • RECEPTOR GENE
  • SKILLS
  • SOCIAL-ISOLATION

Cite this

Verhagen, M., Verweij, K. J. H., Lodder, G., Goossens, L., Verschueren, K., Van Leeuwen, K., Van den Noortgate, W., Claes, S., Bijttebier, P., Van Assche, E., & Vink, J. M. (2020). A SNP, gene and polygenic risk score approach of oxytocin-vasopressin genes in adolescents’ loneliness. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 30(S2), 333-348. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12480