Abstract # 214:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Windsor Room) Poster Presentation

Variability of dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene sequence in the vervet (CHLOROCEBUS AETHIOPS SABAEUS)

S. Breidenthal, J. McCracken and L. Fairbanks
Center for Primate Neuroethology, Neuropsychiatric Institute - UCLA,, Los Angles, CA 90024, USA
     The human dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) contains a polymorphic sequence in exon 3 consisting of a variable number of 48-base-pair-repeats. This polymorphism has been reported to be associated with variation in personality traits, such as novelty seeking, in humans. Genetic studies have shown several nonhuman primates species share the 48-bp repeat units and exhibit variation in both the number of repeat units and the amino acid sequence of those repeats. The main objective in this study was to investigate whether the vervet monkeys exhibited the 48-bp repeat units and share similar variations within these repeat units with other nonhuman primates. The DRD4 DNA sequence was first examined in 24 individuals from the oldest living matrilines of the Vervet Research Colony to obtain the maximum genetic diversity. In our findings, the DRD4 DNA sequence in the vervets contains the basic 48-bp repeat unit found in human DRD4 and other nonhuman primates. We found 2 variations in the number of the 48-bp units, a 5-repeat and a 6-repeat, with variations within the DNA sequence and amino acid sequence of these repeat units. When compared to other nonhuman primates, we observed similar variations in the DNA sequence of the 48-bp repeat units and one identical repeat unit between the vervet monkey, baboon and rhesus macaque that were not seen in other nonhuman primates.