Anxiety proneness linked to epistatic loci in genome scan of human personality traits

C. R. Cloninger, P. Van Eerdewegh, A. Goate, H. J. Edenberg, J. Blangero, V. Hesselbrock, T. Reich, J. Nurnberger, M. Schuckit, B. Porjesz, R. Crowe, J. P. Rice, T. Foroud, T. R. Przybeck, L. Almasy, K. Bucholz, W. Wu, S. Shears, K. Carr, C. CroseC. Willig, J. Zhao, J. A. Tischfield, T. K. Li, P. M. Conneally, H. Begleiter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    137 Scopus citations


    A genome-wide scan between normal human personality traits and a set of genetic markers at an average interval of 13 centimorgans was carried out in 758 pairs of siblings in 177 nuclear families of alcoholics. Personality traits were measured by the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire. We detected significant linkage between the trait Harm Avoidance, a measure of anxiety proneness, and a locus on chromosome 8p21-23 that explained 38% of the trait variance. There was significant evidence of epistasis between the locus on 8p and others on chromosomes 18p, 20p, and 21q. These oligogenic interactions explained most of the variance in Harm Avoidance. There was suggestive evidence of epistasis in other personality traits. These results confirm the important influence of epistasis on human personality suggested by twin and adoption studies.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)313-317
    Number of pages5
    JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Jul 10 1998


    • Alcoholism
    • Epistasis
    • Genome scan
    • Linkage
    • Personality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Genetics(clinical)
    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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