Common SNPs explain some of the variation in the personality dimensions of neuroticism and extraversion

A. A. E. Vinkhuyzen*, N. L. Pedersen, J. Yang, S. H. Lee, P. K. E. Magnusson, W. G. Iacono, M. McGue, P. A. F. Madden, A. C. Heath, M. Luciano, A. Payton, M. Horan, W. Ollier, N. Pendleton, I. J. Deary, G. W. Montgomery, N. G. Martin, P. M. Visscher, N. R. Wray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The personality traits of neuroticism and extraversion are predictive of a number of social and behavioural outcomes and psychiatric disorders. Twin and family studies have reported moderate heritability estimates for both traits. Few associations have been reported between genetic variants and neuroticism/extraversion, but hardly any have been replicated. Moreover, the ones that have been replicated explain only a small proportion of the heritability (<similar to 2%). Using genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from similar to 12 000 unrelated individuals we estimated the proportion of phenotypic variance explained by variants in linkage disequilibrium with common SNPs as 0.06 (s.e. = 0.03) for neuroticism and 0.12 (s.e. = 0.03) for extraversion. In an additional series of analyses in a family-based sample, we show that while for both traits similar to 45% of the phenotypic variance can be explained by pedigree data (that is, expected genetic similarity) one third of this can be explained by SNP data (that is, realized genetic similarity). A part of the so-called 'missing heritability' has now been accounted for, but some of the reported heritability is still unexplained. Possible explanations for the remaining missing heritability are that: (i) rare variants that are not captured by common SNPs on current genotype platforms make a major contribution; and/or (ii) the estimates of narrow sense heritability from twin and family studies are biased upwards, for example, by not properly accounting for nonadditive genetic factors and/or (common) environmental factors. Translational Psychiatry (2012) 2, e102; doi:10.1038/tp.2012.27; published online 17 April 2012

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere102
Number of pages7
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Volume2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • complex traits
  • GCTA
  • genome-wide
  • polymorphisms
  • variance
  • GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION
  • DUTCH ADOLESCENT TWINS
  • POPULATION-BASED TWIN
  • GENETIC-VARIATION
  • LINKAGE ANALYSIS
  • 5-FACTOR MODEL
  • POLYMORPHISM 5-HTTLPR
  • MISSING HERITABILITY
  • TRAIT NEUROTICISM
  • LARGE PROPORTION

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