Abstract # 67:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


SEROTONIN TRANSPORTER GENOTYPE MODULATION OF HPA AXIS OUTPUT: ASSESSMENT OF THE EFFECT OF SEX AND THE SHORT ALLELE

A. Sorenson1, S. Mendoza2, J. Capitanio2 and J. D. Higley1
1Department of Psychology Brigham Young University, Provo , Utah 84602, USA, 2Department of Psychology University of California Davis and the California National Primate Research Center
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     Previous studies have assessed the effect of the serotonin transporter (rh5HTTLPR) on levels of cortisol in infant rhesus macaques. They found that females with the L/S heterozygous allele presented lower levels of cortisol. Thus far, no studies have assessed the effect of the recessive S/S homozygous allele on cortisol levels. For this study, 191 infant rhesus macaques (107 females; 84 males) took part in the Bio Behavioral Assessment (BBA), a standardized testing procedure involving blood sampling and behavioral testing. Subjects ranged in age between 90 and 128 days, with a mean age of 107. On the first day of the BBA two separate blood samples were obtained and later assayed for cortisol. The mean cortisol levels for each subject, as determined by these two blood samples, was then run in a two way analysis of covariance against rh5TTLPR (L/L=119, L/S=60, S/S=12). When age was controlled for, it was found that those with the S/S homozygous allele had significantly higher levels of cortisol (p<.04), when compared to those with either the L/L homozygous or the L/S heterozygous alleles. No effect for gender was found. These data suggest that subjects with the recessive S/S homozygote gene are more likely to have higher cortisol levels than those with either the L/L homozygote or the L/S heterozygote gene.