RORA polymorphism interacts with childhood maltreatment in determining anxiety sensitivity by sex: A preliminary study in healthy young adults

Jung Ah Min, Heon-Jeong Lee, Seung Hwan Lee, Young Min Park, Seung Gul Kang, Young Gyu Park, Jeong Ho Chae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Recent studies have reported associations of retinoid-related orphan receptor alpha (RORA) gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with depression and anxiety disorders. Based on these, we attempt to test whether RORA polymorphism is associated with anxiety sensitivity (AS), the intermediate phenotype of depression and anxiety disorders. Considering gene-environment interactions and sex differences in AS, childhood maltreatment (CM) and sex were considered as confounders. Methods: Two-hundred and five healthy young Korean adults (female: 98, male: 107; age, 23.0±3.2 years) completed genotyping for the RORA SNP rs11071547, as well as measures for AS and CM. Generalized linear models were used to examine the main and interaction effects of RORA genotype, CM, and sex in determining AS. Results: The main effect of RORA polymorphisms was not found (p=0.760) whereas the main effect of CM and interaction effects among sex, genotype, and maltreatment were significant on AS. In separate analyses by sex, the interaction effect between RORA genotype and maltreatment was significant only in males (p<0.001). In females, the main effects of genotype and CM were significant (both were p<0.001), in which both a history of CM and C genotype tended to be associated with higher AS. Conclusion: The association between RORA polymorphism and AS might differ by sex. The interaction between RORA polymorphism and CM was significant only in males whereas RORA genotype and CM independently associated with AS in females. Further studies are encouraged to confirm the relationship between RORA polymorphism and AS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-406
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017



  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Childhood trauma
  • Gene-environment interaction
  • Retinoid acid receptor-related orphan receptor alpha (RORA) gene
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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