Nilsson KW, Comasco E, Åslund C, Nordquist N, Leppert J, Oreland L
Addict Biol 16 (2) 347-355 [2011-04-00; online 2010-08-23]
The aim of the present study was to investigate MAOA gene-environment (G*E) interactions in relation to adolescent alcohol consumption. In the county of Västmanland, Sweden, all 17-18-year-old students were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire and provide a saliva sample during class hours. A total of 2263 students completed the questionnaire (77.4%) and a saliva sample was provided by 2131 participants. Failed MAOA u-variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) genotype analyses and internal non-responses left 851 boys and 735 girls (total n=1586) to be investigated. Alcohol use disorder identification test was used to measure hazardous alcohol consumption. MAOA u-VNTR was used to measure biological risk in interaction with poor family relations and experience of sexual abuse. The model was also adjusted for non-independent socioeconomic variables, separated parents, type of housing and parental unemployment. Results showed that the MAOA u-VNTR, in interaction with psychosocial risk factors, such as the quality of family relations and sexual abuse, was related to high alcohol consumption among adolescents. Girls, carrying the long MAOA u-VNTR variant showed a higher risk of being high alcohol consumers, whereas among boys, the short allele was related to higher alcohol consumption. The present study supports the hypothesis that there is a relation between MAOA u-VNTR and alcohol consumption and that this relation is modulated by environmental factors. Furthermore, the present study also supports the hypothesis that there is a sex difference in the G*E interaction.