Maltreatment, MAOA, and delinquency: sex differences in gene-environment interaction in a large population-based cohort of adolescents.

Aslund C, Nordquist N, Comasco E, Leppert J, Oreland L, Nilsson KW

Behav. Genet. 41 (2) 262-272 [2011-03-00; online 2010-08-24]

The present study investigated a possible interaction between a functional polymorphism in the MAOA gene promoter (MAOA-VNTR) and childhood maltreatment in the prediction of adolescent male and female delinquency. A cohort of 1,825 high school students, 17-18 years old, completed an anonymous questionnaire during class hours which included questions on childhood maltreatment, sexual abuse, and delinquency. Saliva samples were collected for DNA isolation, and analyzed for the MAOA-VNTR polymorphism. Self-reported maltreatment was a strong risk factor for adolescent delinquent behavior. The MAOA genotype also showed a significant main effect when controlled for maltreatment. Boys with a short variant and girls with one or two long variants of the polymorphism showed a higher risk for delinquency when exposed to maltreatment. Our results confirm previous findings of an interaction between the MAOA-VNTR polymorphism and self-reported maltreatment. Results for boys and girls differ according to MAOA-VNTR genotype and direction of phenotypic expression.

Erika Comasco

SciLifeLab Fellow

PubMed 20734127

DOI 10.1007/s10519-010-9356-y

Crossref 10.1007/s10519-010-9356-y

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