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Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:243280. doi: 10.1155/2014/243280. Epub 2014 May 25.

A functional polymorphism of the MAOA gene modulates spontaneous brain activity in pons.

Author information

1
The Medical Psychological Institute of the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102, USA.
3
Center for Functional Neuroimaging, Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA ; Department of Psychology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effects of a functional polymorphism of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene on spontaneous brain activity in healthy male adolescents.

METHODS:

Thirty-one healthy male adolescents with the low-activity MAOA genotype (MAOA-L) and 25 healthy male adolescents with the high-activity MAOA genotype (MAOA-H) completed the 11-item Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) questionnaire and were subjected to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) scans. The amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) of the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal was calculated using REST software. ALFF data were related to BIS scores and compared between genotype groups.

RESULTS:

Compared with the MAOA-H group, the MAOA-L group showed significantly lower ALFFs in the pons. There was a significant correlation between the BIS scores and the ALFF values in the pons for MAOA-L group, but not for the MAOA-H group. Further regression analysis showed a significant genotype by ALFF values interaction effect on BIS scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lower spontaneous brain activity in the pons of the MAOA-L male adolescents may provide a neural mechanism by which boys with the MAOA-L genotype confers risk for impulsivity and aggression.

PMID:
24971323
PMCID:
PMC4055575
DOI:
10.1155/2014/243280
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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