A genome-wide association study of social trust in 33,882 Danish blood donors

Celia Burgos Sequeros, Thomas Folkmann Hansen, David Westergaard, Ioannis Louloudis, Sebastian Kalamajski, Timo Röder, Palle Duun Rohde, Michael Schwinn, Line Harder Clemmensen, Maria Didriksen, Mette Nyegaard, Henrik Hjalgrim, Kaspar René Nielsen, Mie Topholm Bruun, Sisse Rye Ostrowski, Christian Erikstrup, Susan Mikkelsen, Erik Sørensen, Karina Banasik*, Jakob BayJens Kjærgaard Boldsen, Thorsten Brodersen, Søren Brunak, Kristoffer Burgdorf, Mona Ameri Chalmer, Maria Didriksen, Khoa Manh Dinh, Joseph Dowsett, Christian Erikstrup, Bjarke Feenstra, Frank Geller, Daniel Gudbjartsson, Thomas Folkmann Hansen, Lotte Hindhede, Henrik Hjalgrim, Rikke Louise Jacobsen, Gregor Jemec, Bitten Aagaard Jensen, Katrine Kaspersen, Bertram Dalskov Kjerulff, Lisette Kogelman, Margit Anita Hørup Larsen, Ioannis Louloudis, Agnete Lundgaard, Susan Mikkelsen, Christina Mikkelsen, Ioanna Nissen, Mette Nyegaard, Sisse Rye Ostrowski, Ole Birger Vestager Pedersen, Alexander Pil Henriksen, Palle Duun Rohde, Klaus Rostgaard, Michael Schwinn, Kari Stefansson, Hreinn Stefánsson, Erik Sørensen, Unnur Thorsteinsdóttir, Lise Wegner Thørner, Mie Topholm Bruun, Henrik Ullum, Thomas Werge, David Westergaard, Ole Birger Vestager Pedersen, Søren Brunak, Karina Banasik*, Giuseppe Nicola Giordano

*Corresponding author for this work

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Social trust is a heritable trait that has been linked with physical health and longevity. In this study, we performed genome-wide association studies of self-reported social trust in n = 33,882 Danish blood donors. We observed genome-wide and local evidence of genetic similarity with other brain-related phenotypes and estimated the single nucleotide polymorphism-based heritability of trust to be 6% (95% confidence interval = (2.1, 9.9)). In our discovery cohort (n = 25,819), we identified one significantly associated locus (lead variant: rs12776883) in an intronic enhancer region of PLPP4, a gene highly expressed in brain, kidneys, and testes. However, we could not replicate the signal in an independent set of donors who were phenotyped a year later (n = 8063). In the subsequent meta-analysis, we found a second significantly associated variant (rs71543507) in an intergenic enhancer region. Overall, our work confirms that social trust is heritable, and provides an initial look into the genetic factors that influence it.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1402
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024


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