R J Wright

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (1)15.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Genetic susceptibility to antisocial behavior may increase fetal sensitivity to prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke. Testing putative gene x exposure mechanisms requires precise measurement of exposure and outcomes. We tested whether a functional polymorphism in the gene encoding the enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) interacts with exposure to predict pathways to adolescent antisocial behavior. We assessed both clinical and information-processing outcomes. One hundred seventy-six adolescents and their mothers participated in a follow-up of a pregnancy cohort with well-characterized exposure. A sex-specific pattern of gene x exposure interaction was detected. Exposed boys with the low-activity MAOA 5' uVNTR (untranslated region variable number of tandem repeats) genotype were at increased risk for conduct disorder (CD) symptoms. In contrast, exposed girls with the high-activity MAOA uVNTR genotype were at increased risk for both CD symptoms and hostile attribution bias on a face-processing task. There was no evidence of a gene-environment correlation (rGE). Findings suggest that the MAOA uVNTR genotype, prenatal exposure to cigarettes and sex interact to predict antisocial behavior and related information-processing patterns. Future research to replicate and extend these findings should focus on elucidating how gene x exposure interactions may shape behavior through associated changes in brain function.
    Molecular Psychiatry 04/2009; 15(9):928-37. · 15.15 Impact Factor