Abstract # 66:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


A C-TO-T SNP IN THE PROMOTER REGION OF THE RHESUS MACAQUE (MACACA MULATTA) CRH GENE INTERACTS WITH EARLY REARING EXPERIENCES INFLUENCING ANXIOUS BEHAVIOR

S. A. Aston1, P. H. O'Connell1, M. L. Schwandt2, C. S. Barr2, S. G. Lindell2, S. J. Suomi2 and J. D. Higley1
1Brigham Young University, S. Andrew Aston, 1042 SWKT, Department of Psychology, Provo, UT 84602, USA, 2National Institutes of Health, NICHD, NIAAA
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     Studies show that dysregulation of HPA axis activity is related to various anxiety disorders. Recent research indicates that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the promoter region of the rhesus macaque CRH gene, CRH-248 C>T, interacts with adverse rearing conditions, leading to dysregulation of the HPA axis. We proposed investigating this SNP and its influence on anxious behavior using 209 infant rhesus monkeys, heterozygous (C/T) for the CRH-248 SNP or homozygous for the wild type (C/C). Infants were raised for the first six months of life either with their mothers in species normative social groups (mother-reared – MR) or without adults in peer-only rearing groups (peer-reared – PR). At six months of age, subjects’ stress reactivity was measured using a separation paradigm. Infants were isolated for 4, four-day separations, and durations of anxious behaviors were recorded during daily 5-minute observations. Repeated measures ANOVAs found significant rearing (p<.000), genotype (p=.003), and rearing-by-genotype (p=.003) effects on self-directed behavior, and separation-by-rearing (p<.000), separation-by-genotype (p=.001), and separation-by-rearing-by-genotype (p<.000) effects on stereotypic behavior. MR animals exhibited essentially no self-directed behaviors and very little stereotypic behavior. PR animals exhibited significantly higher levels of both behaviors with PR C/C animals exhibiting the highest levels of self-directed behavior and PR C/T animals exhibiting the highest levels of stereotypic behavior, suggesting that a gene-by-environment interaction in the CRH system modulates pathological anxiety.