Reduced severity of posttraumatic stress disorder associated with Val allele of Val66Met polymorphism at brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene among Chinese adolescents after Wenchuan earthquake.Psychophysiology 2016; 53(5):705-11P
The aim of the present study was to longitudinally investigate the association of BDNF Val66Met with PTSD symptoms in Chinese Han adolescents who experienced the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Variants of BDNF Val66Met were identified by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses and verified by DNA sequencing. PTSD symptoms were assessed by the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C) among high school students at 6, 12, and 18 months after the earthquake. No differences of PTSD prevalence and PCL-C scores were found between the Val/Val homozygotes and the Met allele carriers at 6, 12, and 18 months after the earthquake regardless of gender. Decreased PTSD prevalence was observed at 12 and 18 months when compared with that at 6 months after the earthquake regardless of gender and the genotype. Meanwhile, PCL-C scores were decreased consecutively in the female subjects regardless of the genotypes. However, the scores at 18 months were lower when compared with those at 12 months in the male Val/Val homozygotes, but not in the male Met allele carriers. In addition, differences were found for the predictors of PCL-C scores and PTSD prevalence between the Val/Val homozygotes and the Met allele carriers during follow-up. These findings suggest that the association of BDNF Val66Met with PTSD is longitudinally different in Chinese Han adolescents after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. The Val allele may be associated with reduced PTSD severity in male adolescents in the later stage of PTSD rehabilitation during follow-up.