Interactions between the COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism and maternal prenatal smoking predict aggressive behavior outcomes.

Department of Psychology, 36 Eagle Row, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Biological psychology (Impact Factor: 3.47). 02/2011; 87(1):99-105. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.02.013
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of the current study is to examine the moderating influence of the catechol O methyltransferase gene (COMT) on the maternal prenatal smoking/offspring externalizing disorder relationship. The sample consisted of 430 young adults born between 1981 and 1984 at the Mater Misericordiae Mother's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, as well as their mothers and peers. Mothers reported their prenatal smoking status during pregnancy, and genetic data was obtained from the youth at a later follow-up in adulthood. The outcome measures in this study were mother and teacher reports of youth attention problems and aggression at age 15, and youth, mother and peer reports of youth attention problems and aggression at age 20 (combined to create latent factors of attention problems and aggression at each age). The COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism (rs4680) significantly interacted with maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy to predict youth aggressive behavior at ages 15 and 20. This gene-environment interaction was not significant for youth attention problems.

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