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BDNF ValMet polymorphism is associated with structural neuroanatomical differences in young children.

Title: The BDNF ValMet polymorphism is associated with structural neuroanatomical differences in young children.
Name(s): Jasińska, Kaja K, author
Molfese, Peter J, author
Kornilov, Sergey A, author
Mencl, W Einar, author
Frost, Stephen J, author
Lee, Maria, author
Pugh, Kenneth R, author
Grigorenko, Elena L, author
Landi, Nicole, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Journal Article
Date Issued: 2017-06-15
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) ValMet single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) has been associated with individual differences in brain structure and function, and cognition. Research on BDNF's influence on brain and cognition has largely been limited to adults, and little is known about the association of this gene, and specifically the ValMet polymorphism, with developing brain structure and emerging cognitive functions in children. We performed a targeted genetic association analysis on cortical thickness, surface area, and subcortical volume in 78 children (ages 6-10) who were Val homozygotes (homozygous Val/Val carriers) or Met carriers (Val/Met, Met/Met) for the ValMet locus using Atlas-based brain segmentation. We observed greater cortical thickness for Val homozygotes in regions supporting declarative memory systems (anterior temporal pole/entorhinal cortex), consistent with adult findings. Met carriers had greater surface area in the prefrontal and parietal cortices and greater cortical thickness in lateral occipital/parietal cortex in contrast to prior adult findings that may relate to performance on cognitive tasks supported by these regions in Met carriers. Finally, we found larger right hippocampal volume in Met carriers, although inconsistent with adult findings (generally reports larger volumes for Val homozygotes), is consistent with a recent finding in children. Gene expression levels vary across different brain regions and across development and our findings highlight the need to consider this developmental change in explorations of BDNF-brain relationships. The impact of the BDNF ValMet polymorphism on the structure of the developing brain therefore reflects regionally-specific developmental changes in BDNF expression and cortical maturation trajectories.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_28359883 (IID), 10.1016/j.bbr.2017.03.014 (DOI), PMC5536104 (PMCID), 28359883 (RID), 28359883 (EID), S0166-4328(16)30644-1 (PII)
Keywords: BDNF, Cortical thickness, Development, Gray matter volume, Neurogenetics, Surface area, Rs6265, SMRI neuroimaging
Grant Number: R01 HD065794, R03 HD053409, P20 HD091013, R21 DA030665, P50 HD052120, R01 HD040411, R01 HD048830, P01 HD001994, R01 HD086168
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Subject(s): Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor/genetics
Cerebral Cortex/diagnostic imaging
Genetic Association Studies
Hippocampus/diagnostic imaging
Longitudinal Studies
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Organ Size
Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Behavioural brain research.
Issue: vol. 328

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Jasińska, K. K., Molfese, P. J., Kornilov, S. A., Mencl, W. E., Frost, S. J., Lee, M., … Landi, N. (2017). The BDNF ValMet polymorphism is associated with structural neuroanatomical differences in young children. Behavioural Brain Research. Retrieved from