Abstract # 45:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (National Ballroom AB) Poster Presentation


H. E. Page1, D. M. Bell1, E. K. Wood1, S. J. Waters1, M. L. Schwandt2, C. S. Barr3, S. J. Suomi3, S. G. Lindell4 and J. D. Higley1
1Brigham Young University, 1042 SWKT, Department of Psychology, Provo, Utah 84604, USA, 2Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Studies, NIH/NIAAA, 3Section of Comparative and Behavioral Genomics, LNG, NIH/NIAAA, 4NIH Animal Center, LCE, NICHD

A C-to-G single nucleotide change in the μ-opioid-receptor gene (OPRM1-C77G) modulates mother-infant relationships in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Mothers with the CG genotype restrain their infants more often, preventing play and exploration, potentially indicating lower quality bonding. Infant genotype affects infant temperament, with the CG genotype interacting with sex. CG genotype males exhibit increased rates freezing, and females show decreased rates of freezing, compared to infants with the CC genotype. The present study investigates the effect of OPRM1 genotype on the mother’s behavior with her infant. For the first 24 weeks of infant life, weekly behavioral data were collected from 42 mother-infant pairs. Each mother was genotyped for variation in the OPRM1 gene. Mixed design, repeated-measure ANOVAs, with maternal genotype and infant sex as between-subjects factors and week of life as the within-group factor, showed that maternal restraint was modulated by genotype and infant sex (F=2.658; p<.0001), with CC mothers restraining female infants more than CG mothers. Social contact between mother and infant was significant, with CG mothers exhibiting more contact in later months (F=1.75; p=.015). Maternal approach was significant (F=1.585; p=.039), with CG genotype mothers approaching female infants more. Results indicate that OPRM1 genetic differences modulate quality of maternal care. Mothers homozygous for the ancestral C allele exhibit higher quality parenting behaviors than do mothers with a copy of the G allele.