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Interaction between prenatal stress and dopamine D4 receptor genotype in predicting aggression and cortisol levels in young adults

  • Considerable evidence suggests that genetic factors combine with environmental influences to impact on the development of aggressive behavior. A genetic variant that has repeatedly been reported to render individuals more sensitive to the presence of adverse experiences, including stress exposure during fetal life, is the seven-repeat allele of the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene. The present investigation concentrated on the interplay of prenatal maternal stress and DRD4 genotype in predicting self-reported aggression in young adults. As disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system has been discussed as a pathophysiological pathway to aggression, cortisol stress reactivity was additionally examined. As part of an epidemiological cohort study, prenatal maternal stress was assessed by maternal interview 3 months after childbirth. Between the ages of 19 and 23 years, 298 offspring (140 males, 158 females) completed the Young Adult Self-Report to measure aggressive behavior and were genotyped for the DRD4 gene. At 19 years,Considerable evidence suggests that genetic factors combine with environmental influences to impact on the development of aggressive behavior. A genetic variant that has repeatedly been reported to render individuals more sensitive to the presence of adverse experiences, including stress exposure during fetal life, is the seven-repeat allele of the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene. The present investigation concentrated on the interplay of prenatal maternal stress and DRD4 genotype in predicting self-reported aggression in young adults. As disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system has been discussed as a pathophysiological pathway to aggression, cortisol stress reactivity was additionally examined. As part of an epidemiological cohort study, prenatal maternal stress was assessed by maternal interview 3 months after childbirth. Between the ages of 19 and 23 years, 298 offspring (140 males, 158 females) completed the Young Adult Self-Report to measure aggressive behavior and were genotyped for the DRD4 gene. At 19 years, 219 participants additionally underwent the Trier Social Stress Test to determine cortisol reactivity. Extending earlier findings with respect to childhood antisocial behavior, the results revealed that, under conditions of higher prenatal maternal stress, carriers of the DRD4 seven-repeat allele displayed more aggression in adulthood (p = 0.032). Moreover, the same conditions which seemed to promote aggression were found to predict attenuated cortisol secretion (p = 0.028). This is the first study to indicate a long-term impact of prenatal stress exposure on the cortisol stress response depending on DRD4 genotype.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Arlette F. Buchmann, Katrin Zohsel, Dorothea Blomeyer, Erika Hohm, Sarah Hohmann, Christine Jennen-Steinmetz, Jens Treutlein, Katja Becker, Tobias Banaschewski, Martin H. Schmidt, Günter EsserGND, Daniel Brandeis, Luise Poustka, Ulrich S. Zimmermann, Manfred Laucht
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-014-3484-7
ISSN:0033-3158 (print)
ISSN:1432-2072 (online)
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=24553580
Parent Title (English):Psychopharmacology
Publisher:Springer
Place of publication:New York
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2014
Year of Completion:2014
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:Aggression; Cortisol; DRD4; Gene-environment interaction; Prenatal stress
Volume:231
Issue:16
Pagenumber:9
First Page:3089
Last Page:3097
Funder:Lilly; Janssen; McNeil; Medice; Novartis; Shire; BMBF; DFG; NIAAA
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Psychologie
Peer Review:Referiert