Adenosine A(2A) receptors are suggested to play an important role in different brain circuits and pathways involved in anxiety reactions. A variant within the corresponding ADORA2A gene (rs5751876) increased the risk for panic disorder (PD), for elevated anxiety during challenge tests in healthy probands and for anxiety-related arousal in blood-injury phobia. These multiple effects may mirror a more general effect of the SNP on basic personality traits. In the present study we therefore aimed to replicate the original finding in a large PD sample and extend it by investigating an additional proband sample characterized for different anxiety-related personality scores. In addition, as rs5751876 is assumed not to be the disease variant itself but to be in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with the true functional polymorphism other SNPs of potentially functional relevance were identified by re-sequencing the whole gene including several newly identified regions of putative regulatory potential and analysed for their impact on PD and anxious personality. We were indeed able to replicate rs5751876 as risk factor for PD, particularly PD with agoraphobia. Rs5751876 and several other variants in high LD (rs5751862, rs2298383 and rs3761422) as well as the corresponding haplotypes were also associated with different anxiety-related personality scores (Bonferroni corrected P(all) < 0.05). Of these variants, rs2298383 shows functional potential based on in silico analyses and might therefore represent the true underlying causal variant. Our data provide further support for an important role of ADORA2A variants in the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders and anxious personality reflecting their potential as basic susceptibility factors.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.