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Indian J Psychiatry. 2019 May-Jun;61(3):253-257. doi: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_194_18.

Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met and brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met gene polymorphisms in paraphilic sexual offenders.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Biology, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey.
2
Department of Science, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey.
3
Department of Medical Sciences, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey.

Abstract

Background:

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is an important problem worldwide. The reason of sex abuse is considered as multifactorial. Genetic contribution reported by recent studies is a significant evidence for this pathologic behavior. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) is an enzyme in the metabolic inactivation of catecholamine and substances containing catecholamines such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. COMT polymorphism causes functional changes in COMT enzyme activity. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophic factor usually synthesized from central nervous system neurons. With the effect of BDNF, dopamine and serotonin play important roles on neurogenesis, survival, and synaptic plasticity.

Aim:

This study aims to examine COMT Val158Met (rs4680) and BDNF Val66Met (rs6265) polymorphisms in CSA.

Settings and Design:

This was a case-control study.

Materials and Methods:

Seventy paraphilic child sexual abuser patients and seventy age- and gender-matched healthy controls participated in this study. COMT Val158Met and BDNF Val66Met polymorphisms were genotyped by real-time polymerase chain reaction assay.

Results:

COMT Val158Met genotype frequencies were determined as GG 31.4%, GA 45.7%, and AA 22.9% in patients; GG 24.3%, GA 45.7%, and AA 8.6% in controls; and exhibited a positive relationship between the groups (P = 0.018). BDNF Val66Met genotype frequencies were determined as GG 77.1%, GA 21.4%, and AA 1.4% in patients; GG 65.7%, GA 31.4%, AA 2.9% in controls; and no significant relationship was observed between the groups (P = 0.317).

Conclusions:

This research investigated COMT (Val158Met) and BDNF (Val66Met) in paraphilic child sexual offenders. A positive relationship was found for COMT gene; however, no significant relation was observed for BDNF gene between paraphilic sexual offenders and controls.

KEYWORDS:

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; catechol-O-methyl transferase; paraphilia; polymorphism; sexual abuse

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