Acute stress modulates genotype effects on amygdala processing in humans

H. Cousijn, M. Rijpkema, S. Qin, H. J. F. van Marle, B. Franke, E. J. Hermans, G. van Wingen, G. Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Probing gene-environment interactions that affect neural processing is crucial for understanding individual differences in behavior and disease vulnerability. Here, we tested whether the current environmental context, which affects the acute brain state, modulates genotype effects on brain function in humans. We manipulated the context by inducing acute psychological stress, which increases noradrenergic activity, and probed its effect on tonic activity and phasic responses in the amygdala using two MRI techniques: conventional blood oxygen level-dependent functional MRI and arterial spin labeling. We showed that only carriers of a common functional deletion in ADRA2B, the gene coding for the alpha2b-adrenoreceptor, displayed increased phasic amygdala responses under stress. Tonic activity, reflecting the perfusion of the amygdala, increased independently of genotype after stress induction. Thus, when tonic activity was heightened by stress, only deletion carriers showed increased amygdala responses. Our results demonstrate that genetic effects on brain operations can be state dependent, such that they only become apparent under specific, often environmentally controlled, conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9867-9872
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume107
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2010

Cite this

Cousijn, H. ; Rijpkema, M. ; Qin, S. ; van Marle, H. J. F. ; Franke, B. ; Hermans, E. J. ; van Wingen, G. ; Fernandez, G. / Acute stress modulates genotype effects on amygdala processing in humans. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2010 ; Vol. 107, No. 21. pp. 9867-9872.
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Cousijn, H, Rijpkema, M, Qin, S, van Marle, HJF, Franke, B, Hermans, EJ, van Wingen, G & Fernandez, G 2010, 'Acute stress modulates genotype effects on amygdala processing in humans' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 107, no. 21, pp. 9867-9872. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1003514107

Acute stress modulates genotype effects on amygdala processing in humans. / Cousijn, H.; Rijpkema, M.; Qin, S.; van Marle, H. J. F.; Franke, B.; Hermans, E. J.; van Wingen, G.; Fernandez, G.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 107, No. 21, 25.05.2010, p. 9867-9872.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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