FKBP5 gene variants and borderline personality disorder

J Affect Disord. 2019 Apr 1:248:26-28. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.01.025. Epub 2019 Jan 27.


Background: Genes associated with the physiological response to stress in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis are considered as good candidates for genetic research in borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Methods: In this study, five FKBP5 (a co-chaperone of the glucocorticoid receptor) SNPs (rs3800373, rs9296158, rs737054, rs1360780, rs9470080) were genotyped in a sample of 101 unrelated Caucasian patients with BPD and 111 ethnically matched healthy controls. The interaction between FKBP5 polymorphisms and childhood trauma was also tested.

Results: All FKBP5 polymorphisms genotyped showed significant associations with BPD. A main effect of rs9470080 (p = 0.01) and gene x environment (physical abuse) interaction (p = 0.01) was found. A gene x environment (emotional abuse) interaction was also found for rs3800373 (p = 0.03). However, these interactions did not remain significant after multiple testing corrections.

Limitations: In this study, only 5 genetic variants were tested and thus tagging of the FKBP5 gene was incomplete. Moreover, the sample size is moderate.

Conclusion: BPD is associated with FKBP5 polymorphisms and several types of childhood abuse may modulate the effect between FKBP5 SNPs and this disorder.

Keywords: Borderline personality disorder; FKBP5; SNP; Stress axis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / genetics*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Female
  • Genotyping Techniques
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Tacrolimus Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • Tacrolimus Binding Proteins
  • tacrolimus binding protein 5