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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Sep 16;105(37):14153-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0803081105. Epub 2008 Sep 2.

Genetic variation in the vasopressin receptor 1a gene (AVPR1A) associates with pair-bonding behavior in humans.

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  • 1Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Box 281, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. hasse.walum@ki.se

Abstract

Pair-bonding has been suggested to be a critical factor in the evolutionary development of the social brain. The brain neuropeptide arginine vasopressin (AVP) exerts an important influence on pair-bonding behavior in voles. There is a strong association between a polymorphic repeat sequence in the 5' flanking region of the gene (avpr1a) encoding one of the AVP receptor subtypes (V1aR), and proneness for monogamous behavior in males of this species. It is not yet known whether similar mechanisms are important also for human pair-bonding. Here, we report an association between one of the human AVPR1A repeat polymorphisms (RS3) and traits reflecting pair-bonding behavior in men, including partner bonding, perceived marital problems, and marital status, and show that the RS3 genotype of the males also affects marital quality as perceived by their spouses. These results suggest an association between a single gene and pair-bonding behavior in humans, and indicate that the well characterized influence of AVP on pair-bonding in voles may be of relevance also for humans.

PMID:
18765804
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2533683
Free PMC Article
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