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Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2005 Jan 5;132B(1):100-3.

Relationship of MAO-A promoter (u-VNTR) and COMT (V158M) gene polymorphisms to CSF monoamine metabolites levels in a psychiatric sample of caucasians: A preliminary report.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, Box 42, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Monoamine oxidase A gene promoter (MAOA-uVNTR) and catechol-O-methyltransferase V158M (COMT-V158M) gene functional polymorphisms are reported to be associated with impulsive-aggression, but a biological intermediate effect remains to be determined. This study assessed the association of these polymorphisms with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) monoamine metabolites as endophenotypes. Ninety-eight Caucasian psychiatric subjects were assessed for Axis I and II diagnosis. Subjects were genotyped for the functional polymorphisms, MAOA-uVNTR and COMT-V158M. CSF was obtained by lumbar puncture. Relationships of the two polymorphism to monoamine metabolites: HVA, 5-HIAA, and MHPG were examined. The higher-expressing MAOA-uVNTR genotype was associated with higher CSF-HVA levels in males only (n = 46) (195.80 pmol/ml, SD = 61.64 vs. 161.13, SD = 50.23, respectively; P = 0.042). No association was found with diagnosis. COMT-V158M had no association with CSF monoamine metabolites. The association of MAOA-uVNTR with dopaminergic activity in males is a preliminary finding that needs to be replicated in a larger sample of Caucasian males and relationships sought with clinical phenotypes. This article contains supplementary material, which may be viewed at the American Journal of Medical Genetics website at

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