Abstract # 4614 Event # 105:

Scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013 10:00 AM-10:15 AM: Session 12 (Auditorium) Oral Presentation


EFFECT OF THE SEROTONIN TRANSPORTER GENOTYPE AND ENVIRONMENT (GXE) ON INFANT-MOTHER RELATIONSHIPS DURING REUNIONS IN RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

J. Jackson1, H. E. Page1, A. N. Sorenson1, M. Schwandt2, C. Barr3, S. Suomi4 and J. D. Higley1
1Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84121, 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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     The serotonin transporter genotype has two allele variants with three genotypes (LL, Ls, and ss), with the s allele often associated with negative outcomes. Genotype often interacts with environment to influence behavior. We examine the effect of social separation stressors and genotype on mother-infant (MI) relationships during reunions in infant rhesus macaques. We predicted that infants’ and mothers’ genotype would interact to modulate MI social interactions. At 6 months of age, MI subjects experienced four, 4-day separations, followed by 3 days of reunion. There were 120 MI pairs tested after two separation conditions: mother removed from the infant and social group (n=93), and mother and infant both removed from the social group (n=27). MI behaviors were recorded as dependent variables, and genotypes of the mother and infant as independent variables, controlling for parity, separation condition, and sex. Multivariate ANOVAs showed MI interactions and infant sociality was affected if both the mother and infant possessed the Ls (Long-short) genotype. Compared to other genotype combinations, MI pairs that both had the Ls genotype approached mother (p =0.03), and never engaged in grooming. Furthermore, infants and mothers with the LL (Long-Long) genotype were the only group of infants to display any kind of aggressive defense of status. This is the first study we know of showing that mother’s and infant’s genotype must be considered when assessing MI relationships.