Catechol‐O‐Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism Associates with Affect and Cortisol Levels in Women
Brain and Behavior
We tested the extent to which the catechol‐O‐methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism is associated with affective state and evening cortisol levels. We limited our study to women as previous research suggests that the link between COMT genotype and psychological health is entangled by sex differences.
Materials and Methods
The participants were assessed on measures of anxiety, mood disturbance, depressive symptomatology, and perceived stress. We also evaluated participants on a quality of life measures that included two emotion domains and two physical domains (physical health and environment).
We found that under normal (nonstress) conditions, the COMT A allele (Met carriers, higher dopamine) associates with healthier affect and lower afternoon cortisol levels in women. These effects were limited to affective measures and not to physical or environmental quality of life.
These findings help to shed light on the complex nature of COMT and emotion, and suggest that both sex and task condition (stress vs. nonstress) should be considered when examining the relationship between COMT genotype and emotion.
Hill, L. D.,
Lorenzetti, M. S.,
Lyle, S. M.,
Fins, A. I.,
Tartar, J. L.
(2018). Catechol‐O‐Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism Associates with Affect and Cortisol Levels in Women. Brain and Behavior, 8(2), 1-8.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cps_facarticles/1558