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Are the monoamines involved in shaping conduct disorders?
Date:9/13/2009

(5-HTT), which is the target for the currently most commonly used antidepressant drugs, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The gene producing this protein exists in variants among different individuals. Those variants are usually referred to as the short and the long variant, shown to be of importance for the risk of anxiety or depression (Harro et al., 2009). Not surprisingly, the association between platelet MAO-B activity and personality gets stronger if other independent factors affecting personality are eliminated. Thus, if only individuals carrying the short variant of the 5-HTT gene were investigated, the association between platelet MAO-B activity and behaviour became considerably strengthened, both with regard to impulsiveness in a large series of adolescents, and, in a small series of boys, with dimensional scores for ADHD.

The gene producing MAO-B also exists in variants. One variant of the gene is weakly associated with platelet MAO-B activity, but strongly interacts with poor psychosocial environment to predict antisocial behaviour, particularly in girls. An interesting question that remains to be answered is why the association between the MAO-B gene variant and antisocial behaviour was found to be considerably stronger than with the activity of platelet MAO-B.

A well-studied variant in the MAO-A gene is also associated with antisocial behaviour. Usually this association has been found only in individuals in a poor psychosocial environment, where the gene variant associated with low activity (i.e. a low rate of synthesis of MAO-A enzyme) has been strongly linked with antisocial behaviour in males (Nilsson et al., 2007). Recent studies, however, repeatedly also found an association in girls/females, in some series of such a magnitude that MAO-A genotype alone independently of environment showed a significant association. Remarkably, all series showed that, in contrast to the case in males, the high-activity varian
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Contact: Sonja Mak
s.mak@update.europe.at
431-405-5734
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

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