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Mol Psychiatry. 2019 Aug 27. doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0488-z. [Epub ahead of print]

Neurobiological roots of psychopathy.

Author information

1
Department of Forensic Psychiatry, Niuvanniemi Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, Niuvankuja 65, FI-70240, Kuopio, Finland. jari.tiihonen@ki.se.
2
Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Centre for Psychiatry Research, Stockholm County Council, Byggnad R5, SE-171 77, Stockholm, Sweden. jari.tiihonen@ki.se.
3
Department of Forensic Psychiatry, Niuvanniemi Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, Niuvankuja 65, FI-70240, Kuopio, Finland.
4
A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, PO Box 1627, FI-70211, Kuopio, Finland.
5
Neuroscience Center, Helsinki Institute of Life Science, University of Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu 3, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland.
6
Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Public Health Genomics Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, PO Box 30, FI-00271, Helsinki, Finland.
7
Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki, PO Box 22 (Välskärinkatu 12), FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland.
8
Department of Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, PO Box 590 (Välskärinkatu 12), FI-00029, Helsinki, Finland.
9
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Development of Work and Work Organizations, Topeliuksenkatu 41 b, FI- 00290, Helsinki, Finland.
10
The Criminal Sanctions Agency, Lintulahdenkatu 5, FI-00530, Helsinki, Finland.
11
A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, PO Box 1627, FI-70211, Kuopio, Finland. jari.koistinaho@helsinki.fi.
12
Neuroscience Center, Helsinki Institute of Life Science, University of Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu 3, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland. jari.koistinaho@helsinki.fi.
13
A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, PO Box 1627, FI-70211, Kuopio, Finland. sarka.lehtonen@uef.fi.
14
Neuroscience Center, Helsinki Institute of Life Science, University of Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu 3, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland. sarka.lehtonen@uef.fi.

Erratum in

Abstract

Psychopathy is an extreme form of antisocial behavior, with about 1% prevalence in the general population, and 10-30% among incarcerated criminal offenders. Although the heritability of severe antisocial behavior is up to 50%, the genetic background is unclear. The underlying molecular mechanisms have remained unknown but several previous studies suggest that abnormal glucose metabolism and opioidergic neurotransmission contribute to violent offending and psychopathy. Here we show using iPSC-derived cortical neurons and astrocytes from six incarcerated extremely antisocial and violent offenders, three nonpsychopathic individuals with substance abuse, and six healthy controls that there are robust alterations in the expression of several genes and immune response-related molecular pathways which were specific for psychopathy. In neurons, psychopathy was associated with marked upregulation of RPL10P9 and ZNF132, and downregulation of CDH5 and OPRD1. In astrocytes, RPL10P9 and MT-RNR2 were upregulated. Expression of aforementioned genes explained 30-92% of the variance of psychopathic symptoms. The gene expression findings were confirmed with qPCR. These genes may be relevant to the lack of empathy and emotional callousness seen in psychopathy, since several studies have linked these genes to autism and social interaction.

PMID:
31455857
DOI:
10.1038/s41380-019-0488-z

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