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Mol Psychiatry. 2010 Sep;15(9):928-37. doi: 10.1038/mp.2009.22. Epub 2009 Mar 3.

Interaction of prenatal exposure to cigarettes and MAOA genotype in pathways to youth antisocial behavior.

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  • 1Institute for Juvenile Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60608, USA. lwakschlag@psych.uic.edu

Abstract

Genetic susceptibility to antisocial behavior may increase fetal sensitivity to prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke. Testing putative gene x exposure mechanisms requires precise measurement of exposure and outcomes. We tested whether a functional polymorphism in the gene encoding the enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) interacts with exposure to predict pathways to adolescent antisocial behavior. We assessed both clinical and information-processing outcomes. One hundred seventy-six adolescents and their mothers participated in a follow-up of a pregnancy cohort with well-characterized exposure. A sex-specific pattern of gene x exposure interaction was detected. Exposed boys with the low-activity MAOA 5' uVNTR (untranslated region variable number of tandem repeats) genotype were at increased risk for conduct disorder (CD) symptoms. In contrast, exposed girls with the high-activity MAOA uVNTR genotype were at increased risk for both CD symptoms and hostile attribution bias on a face-processing task. There was no evidence of a gene-environment correlation (rGE). Findings suggest that the MAOA uVNTR genotype, prenatal exposure to cigarettes and sex interact to predict antisocial behavior and related information-processing patterns. Future research to replicate and extend these findings should focus on elucidating how gene x exposure interactions may shape behavior through associated changes in brain function.

PMID:
19255579
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2905677
Free PMC Article
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