Early Life Adversity and Polygenic Risk for High Fasting Insulin Are Associated With Childhood Impulsivity.

TitleEarly Life Adversity and Polygenic Risk for High Fasting Insulin Are Associated With Childhood Impulsivity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBatra A, Chen LM, Wang Z, Parent C, Pokhvisneva I, Patel S, Levitan RD, Meaney MJ, Silveira PPelufo
JournalFront Neurosci
Date Published2021

While the co-morbidity between metabolic and psychiatric behaviors is well-established, the mechanisms are poorly understood, and exposure to early life adversity (ELA) is a common developmental risk factor. ELA is associated with altered insulin sensitivity and poor behavioral inhibition throughout life, which seems to contribute to the development of metabolic and psychiatric disturbances in the long term. We hypothesize that a genetic background associated with higher fasting insulin interacts with ELA to influence the development of executive functions (e.g., impulsivity in young children). We calculated the polygenic risk scores (PRSs) from the genome-wide association study (GWAS) of fasting insulin at different thresholds and identified the subset of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that best predicted peripheral insulin levels in children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort [ = 467; = 0.24 (10,296 SNPs), = 0.05 (57 SNPs)]. We then calculated the refined PRS (rPRS) for fasting insulin at this specific threshold in the children from the Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment (MAVAN) cohort and investigated its interaction effect with adversity on an impulsivity task applied at 36 months. We found a significant effect of interaction between fasting insulin rPRS and adversity exposure predicting impulsivity measured by the Snack Delay Task at 36 months [β = -0.329, = 0.024], such that higher PRS [β = -0.551, = 0.009] was linked to more impulsivity in individuals exposed to more adversity. Enrichment analysis (MetaCore) of the SNPs that compose the fasting insulin rPRS at this threshold was significant for certain nervous system development processes including dopamine D2 receptor signaling. Additional enrichment analysis (FUMA) of the genes mapped from the SNPs in the fasting insulin rPRS showed enrichment with the accelerated cognitive decline GWAS. Therefore, the genetic background associated with risk for adult higher fasting insulin moderates the impact of early adversity on childhood impulsivity.

Alternate JournalFront Neurosci
PubMed ID34539334
PubMed Central IDPMC8441000
Grant ListG9815508 / MRC_ / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_PC_15018 / MRC_ / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom