Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism has been associated with increased susceptibility to develop mood disorders and recently it has been also linked with cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, stressful conditions unveil the anxious/depressive-like behavioral phenotype in heterozygous BDNFVal66Met (BDNFVal/Met) mice, suggesting an important relationship in terms of gene-environment interaction. However, the interplay between stress and BDNFVal/Met in relation to cardiovascular disease is completely unknown.
According to the results of this study, sub-chronic stress unveils prothrombotic phenotype in heterozygous BDNFValMet mice affecting both the number and functionality of blood circulating cells, and the expression of key thrombotic molecules in aorta. BDNFVal/Met mice display a greater propensity to arterial thrombosis than wild type BDNFVal/Val mice after 7 days of restraint stress.
Human studies will be crucial to understand whether this gene-environment interaction need to be taken into account in risk stratification of coronary artery disease patients.