Replying to: C. H. Cotton, J. Flint & T. G. Campbell Nature 458, 10.1038/nature07927 (2009)
The inability of Cotton et al.1 to detect an effect of a functional haplotype (and locus) of neuropeptide Y (NPY), a stress regulatory neuropeptide, on neuroticism is interesting. Although it is important to measure effects of functional loci on complex behaviours, the strength of our study2, and primary basis of its conclusions, was the larger and convergent effects of NPY on intermediate phenotypes, including regional brain responses to emotional stimuli and pain, and brain NPY messenger RNA and plasma NPY levels. Eysenck Neuroticism is a trait that we did not directly investigate. We reported modest association of NPY with two Harm Avoidance subscales from the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire. Association of NPY with the complex trait of anxiety, especially when measured differently, is not the first place we would look to validate our results.
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