BDNF Val66Met polymorphism alters sympathovagal balance in healthy subjects

Albert C. Yang, Tai Jui Chen, Shih Jen Tsai, Chen Jee Hong, Chung Hsun Kuo, Cheng Hung Yang, Ko Pei Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

A common polymorphism of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene (Val66Met) has been implicated in anxiety, which is associated with lower vagal activity. We hypothesize that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism may have a modulatory effect on the cardiac sympathovagal balance. A total of 211 healthy Chinese-Han adults (58 male, 153 female, aged 33.3 ± 10.3 years) were recruited with three BDNF genotypes: Val/Val (47, 22.3%), Val/Met (108, 51.2%), and Met/Met (56, 26.5%). Autonomic function was assessed via an analysis of heart rate variability. Reductions in high-frequency power, an index for parasympathetic activity, and increases in the low-frequency/high-frequency ratio, an index for sympathovagal balance, were found in subjects bearing the Met/Met genotype as compared to the Val/Val group. These results suggest that an altered sympathovagal balance with relatively decreased parasympathetic activity is associated with the Met/Met genotype, suggesting a potential role for the studied BDNF polymorphism in modulating cardiac autonomic functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1024-1030
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Volume153
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Heart rate variability

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