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Compr Psychiatry. 2011 Mar-Apr;52(2):188-94. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2010.05.005. Epub 2010 Jul 8.

Monoamine oxidase A regulates antisocial personality in whites with no history of physical abuse.

Author information

  • 1The School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA. imreti@jhmi.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Preclinical and human family studies clearly link monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) to aggression and antisocial personality (ASP). The 30-base pair variable number tandem repeat in the MAOA promoter regulates MAOA levels, but its effects on ASP in humans are unclear.

METHODS:

We evaluated the association of the variable number tandem repeat of the MAOA promoter with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, ASP disorder (ASPD) traits in a community sample of 435 participants from the Hopkins Epidemiology of Personality Disorders Study.

RESULTS:

We did not find an association between the activity of the MAOA allele and ASPD traits; however, among whites, when subjects with a history of childhood physical abuse were excluded, the remaining subjects with low-activity alleles had ASPD trait counts that were 41% greater than those with high-activity alleles (P < .05).

CONCLUSION:

The high-activity MAOA allele is protective against ASP among whites with no history of physical abuse, lending support to a link between MAOA expression and antisocial behavior.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21295226
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3058761
Free PMC Article
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