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Biol Lett. 2011 Oct 23;7(5):658-60. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0087. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Androgen receptor gene polymorphisms are associated with aggression in Japanese Akita Inu.

Author information

1
Department of Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan. konno@darwin.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Abstract

We tested for an association between variable number of tandem repeats in the canine androgen receptor (AR) gene and personality differences in Japanese Akita Inu dogs. The polymorphic trinucleotide (CAG) repeat region coding for glutamine in exon 1 of the AR gene was genotyped using genomic DNA obtained from 171 dogs. Three alleles (23, 24 and 26 repeats) were detected, and the allele frequency differed with the coat colour. We assessed the personality profiles of 100 fawn-coloured dogs (54 males and 46 females) based on a questionnaire answered by each dog's owner. The questionnaire consisted of five sub-scales (sociability, playfulness, neuroticism, aggressiveness, distractibility), and the psychometric properties were acceptable based upon internal consistency of the subscales. We found that male dogs with a short allele conferring increased AR function had higher aggressiveness scores than male dogs with longer alleles. By contrast, no evidence was found for a relationship between AR gene variants and personality in females. To our knowledge, our findings provide the first evidence of polymorphism in the AR gene being associated with canine aggression.

PMID:
21450727
PMCID:
PMC3169042
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2011.0087
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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