Abstract # 172:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 17 (Regency West 1/3 ) Poster Presentation


MONOAMINE OXIDASE A AND SEROTONIN TRANSPORTER HAPLOTYPE INFLUENCES EMOTION REGULATION IN RESPONSE TO MATERNAL SEPARATION IN INFANT RHESUS MACAQUES

E. L. Kinnally1,2, G. M. Karere2,3,4, S. P. Mendoza1,2, W. A. Mason1,2, L. A. Lyons3 and J. P. Capitanio1,2
1Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center, 3University of California, Davis Population Health and Reproduction, 4Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya
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     Functional polymorphism in the regulatory regions of genes associated with neural monoaminergic function has been linked with monoamine utilization, neural activation, and consequent behavior. We investigated the association between infant rhesus macaque emotion regulation and two candidate gene promoter polymorphisms upstream of monoamine oxidase A (rhMAO-A-LPR) and serotonin transporter (rh5-HTTLPR) genes. Responses to a variety of novel situations/events were recorded in infant rhesus macaques 3-4 months of age (N=469) during a 24-hour separation from mothers and/or social groups and a composite score of emotional reactivity was calculated. Rh5-HTTLPR and rhMAO-A-LPR genotypes were categorized based on previously established transcriptional activity levels (rhMAOA-LPR: high, low and high/low heterozygous activity groups; rh-5-HTTLPR: high and low activity groups). Contrasts among haplotypes were computed using quantitative genetics software which incorporates pedigree analysis. Haplotypes differed in their association with measures of emotional reactivity. Hetero- or homozygosity for high activity alleles, when paired with a high activity rh5-HTTLPR genotype, is associated with the lowest emotional reactivity of all haplotypes (p < .05). High or low activity rhMAO-A-LPR genotype, when paired with a low activity rh5-HTTLPR genotype, resulted in the highest levels of emotional reactivity (all p < .05). There were no sex differences in any behavioral measure. These results suggest that serotonin pathway polymorphisms act cooperatively in their association with emotion regulation in infant rhesus macaques.