FKBP5 and resistant attachment predict cortisol reactivity in infants: Gene-environment interaction
Quality of the parent-infant attachment relationship influences physiological stress regulation. Genetic factors also contribute to the stress regulatory HPA-axis. Quality of attachment as an index of the rearing environment (measured with the Strange Situation Procedure, SSP), and HPA-axis related SNPs (BclI, rs41423247; TthIIII, rs10052957; GR-9β, rs6198; N363S, rs6195; ER22/23EK, rs6189 and 6190; and FKBP5, rs1360780) were hypothesized to be related to cortisol reactivity in the stressful SSP. In this large population based sample, FKBP5 rs1360780, but not GR haplotype, was related to cortisol reactivity. Moreover, we found a significant interaction effect for insecure-resistant attachment and FKBP5 rs1360780, indicating a double-risk for heightened cortisol reactivity levels in infants with one or two T-alleles of the FKBP5 SNP and an insecure-resistant attachment relationship with their mother. Findings are discussed from the perspective of gene-environment interaction.