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Psychiatr Genet. 2012 Apr;22(2):99-102. doi: 10.1097/YPG.0b013e32834c0cb2.

Test of association between 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor gene and conduct disorder.

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Division of Substance Dependence, School of Medicine, University of Colorado-Denver, 12469 East 17th Place, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


Animal and human studies have implicated oxytocin in affiliative and prosocial behaviors. We tested whether genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene is associated with conduct disorder (CD). Utilizing a family-based sample of adolescent probands recruited from an adolescent substance abuse treatment program, control probands and their families (total sample, n=1750), we conducted three tests of association with CD and 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the OXTR gene: (a) family-based comparison utilizing the entire sample; (b) within-Whites, case-control comparison of adolescent patients with CD and controls without CD; and (c) within-Whites case-control comparison of parents of patients and parents of controls. Family-based association tests failed to show significant results (no results P<0.05). While strictly correcting for the number of tests (α=0.002), adolescent patients with CD did not differ significantly from adolescent controls in genotype frequency for the OXTR SNPs tested; similarly, comparison of OXTR genotype frequencies for parents failed to differentiate patient and control family type, except a trend association for rs237889 (P=0.004). We concluded that in this sample, 10 SNPs in the OXTR gene were not significantly associated with CD.

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