Behavioral Neuroscience | Medical Genetics | Personality & Impulse Disorders | Neurogenetics | Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Childhood aggression, callous-unemotional traits and oxytocin genes
JH Beitchman*, C Zai, KE Muir, L Berall, B Nowrouzi, E Choi, JL Kennedy
*Corresponding author: JH Beitchman
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Psychiatry Department, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
F1000Posters 2011, 2: 477 (poster) [ENGLISH]
Poster [810.25 KB]
66th Society of Biological Psychiatry Annual Meeting 2011, 11 - 13 May 2011, 209
Given the known behaviour effects of oxytocin, and in particular it’s putative effect on trust, affiliation and anxiety, we hypothesized that oxytocin may be involved in the development and expression of callous unemotional traits in children with aggressive antisocial behaviour.
We recruited 162 children between the ages of 6 and 16. The majority of subjects were Caucasian (84.0%) compared to African-Canadian (4.9%) and others (11.1%). The oxytocin and oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms were genotyped and analyzed for possible association with child aggression in a case-control study design as well as with callous-unemotional traits in aggressive child cases.
We found the OXTR_rs237885 AA genotype carriers scored higher than AG or GG genotype carriers on the callous-unemotional traits. This result remained significant following correction for multiple testing. No other markers were found to be significant. However, the haplotype consisting of the OXTR_rs237885 A allele and OXTR_rs2268493 A allele was associated with significantly higher callous-unemotional scores than other haplotypes.
This is the first known study to show a significant association between callous unemotional traits in children and adolescents with extreme, persistent pervasive aggression and a polymorphism on the oxytocin receptor.
This investigation is part of a larger study examining genes that may affect the susceptibility for aggressive behaviour.
No relevant conflicts of interest declared.
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