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Brain Sci. 2017, 7(1), 6; doi:10.3390/brainsci7010006

Relationships between GAT1 and PTSD, Depression, and Substance Use Disorder

Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425-8350, USA
Virginia Institute for Psychiatry and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23219-1534, USA
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bruno Aouizerate
Received: 19 August 2016 / Revised: 18 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 5 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Pathogenesis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD))
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [242 KB, uploaded 5 January 2017]


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) have large public health impacts. Therefore, researchers have attempted to identify those at greatest risk for these phenotypes. PTSD, MDD, and SUD are in part genetically influenced. Additionally, genes in the glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system are implicated in the encoding of emotional and fear memories, and thus may impact these phenotypes. The current study examined the associations of single nucleotide polymorphisms in GAT1 individually, and at the gene level, using a principal components (PC) approach, with PTSD, PTSD comorbid with MDD, and PTSD comorbid with SUD in 486 combat-exposed veterans. Findings indicate that several GAT1 SNPs, as well as one of the GAT1 PCs, was associated with PTSD, with and without MDD and SUD comorbidity. The present study findings provide initial insights into one pathway by which shared genetic risk influences PTSD-MDD and PTSD-SUD comorbidities, and thus identify a high-risk group (based on genotype) on whom prevention and intervention efforts should be focused. View Full-Text
Keywords: GAT1; post-traumatic stress disorder; major depressive disorder; substance use disorder; veterans GAT1; post-traumatic stress disorder; major depressive disorder; substance use disorder; veterans
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bountress, K.E.; Wei, W.; Sheerin, C.; Chung, D.; Amstadter, A.B.; Mandel, H.; Wang, Z. Relationships between GAT1 and PTSD, Depression, and Substance Use Disorder. Brain Sci. 2017, 7, 6.

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