Faculty Articles

Title

Catechol‐O‐Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism Associates with Affect and Cortisol Levels in Women

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2018

Keywords

affect, catechol‐O‐methyltransferase, cortisol, dopamine, emotion, women

Publication Title

Brain and Behavior

ISSN

2162-3279

Volume

8

Issue/No.

2

Abstract

Introduction

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).

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.1002%2Fbrb3.883

Peer Reviewed

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