Abstract # 4342 Poster # 68:

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


A GXE ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECT OF THE SEROTONIN TRANSPORTER GENOTYPE, PARITY, AND SEPARATION CONDITION ON INFANT AGGRESSION FOLLOWING THE STRESS OF MOTHER-INFANT REUNIONS IN RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

H. E. Page1, H. R. Tuft1, J. Jackson1, W. F. Espinel1, A. N. Sorenson1, M. L. Schwandt2, C. S. Barr3, S. J. Suomi4 and J. D. Higley1
1Brigham Young University, Department of Psychology, Provo, UT 84602, USA, 2Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Studies, NIH/NIAAA, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA., 3Section of Comparative Behavioral Genomics, LNG, NIH/NIAAA, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA., 4NIH Animal Center, National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, LCE. Poolesville, MD 20837, USA.
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     We examined the effects of a social separation stressor and the serotonin genotype (rh5HTTLPR) on behavior during mother-infant reunions in group-housed infant rhesus macaques. Subjects were 165 infant, mother-reared rhesus macaques genotyped for rh5HTTLPR (Ls: n= 58 and LL: n=107). Infants underwent four, 4-day separations, each followed by 3-day reunions. All behavior was recorded during the reunions, when the mothers were again present. The reunion period was studied following two separation conditions. In the first condition, the mother, but not the infant, was removed from the group (mom-out, n=34), and in the second condition, both the mother and infant were removed from the home cage and separated into single cages in different rooms (both-out, n=131). Maternal parity and separation condition were used to assess GxE effects. Significant 3-way interactions showed that multiparous, Ls infants were recipients of high rates of aggression; whereas primiparous, LL infants initiated more aggression and displayed significantly more positive social interactions with other group members as well as their mother (p< 0.004-0.05). These effects, however, were only seen in the both-out condition during reunions. These findings indicate that the serotonin transporter genotype has a significant impact on infant aggression and sociality that is modulated by situation and environment, and these effects may indicate the negative impact of the short allele starting at a young age.