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Cholecystokinin B receptor gene polymorphism (rs2941026) is associated with anxious personality and suicidal thoughts in a longitudinal study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 December 2021

Aneth Lvovs
School of Natural Sciences and Health, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia Chair of Neuropsychopharmacology, Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Denis Matrov
School of Natural Sciences and Health, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia
Triin Kurrikoff
Chair of Neuropsychopharmacology, Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Toomas Veidebaum
National Institute for Health Development, Tallinn, Estonia
Jaanus Harro*
School of Natural Sciences and Health, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia Chair of Neuropsychopharmacology, Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Author for correspondence: Jaanus Harro, Email:



Cholecystokinin is a neuropeptide with a role in the neurobiology of adaptive behaviour that is implicated in anxiety disorders, while the underlying mechanisms currently remain insufficiently explained. The rs2941026 variation in the cholecystokinin B receptor gene has previously been associated with trait anxiety. Our aim was to investigate associations between the CCKB receptor gene polymorphism rs2941026 with anxiety, personality, depressiveness and suicidality in a longitudinal study of late adolescence and early adulthood.


We used reports on trait and state anxiety, depressiveness and suicidal thoughts, as well as Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales, from the two birth cohorts of the Estonian Children Personality, Behaviour and Health Study. We measured associations between the CCKBR gene rs2941026 and anxiety-related phenotypes both longitudinally and cross-sectionally at ages 15, 18, 25 and 33.


Homozygosity for both alleles of the CCKBR rs2941026 was associated with higher trait and state anxiety in the longitudinal analysis. Cross-sectional comparisons were statistically significant at ages 18 and 25 for trait anxiety and at ages 25 and 33 for state anxiety. Higher depressiveness and suicidal thoughts were associated with the A/A genotype at age 18. Additionally, homozygosity for the A-allele was related to higher FEAR and SADNESS in the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales. The genotype effects were more apparent in females, who displayed higher levels of negative affect overall.


CCKBR genotype is persistently associated with negative affect in adolescence and young adulthood. The association of the CCKBR rs2941026 genotype with anxiety-related phenotypes is more pronounced in females.

Original Article
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology

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