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A genetic basis for behavior in infancy

DRD4 III exon 48 basepair repeat polymorphism and attachment disorganization. The 7 repeat allele was significantly more frequent among infants with disorganized attachment behavior compared to non-disorganized infants. The estimated relative risk for disorganized attachment was 4-fold among children carrying the 7-repeat allele. In this report Hungarian scientists show the modifying effect of a single nucleotide polymorphism (-521 C/T) in the regulatory region of the same DRD4 gene. It has been known from a previous report that the -521 T allele reduces the rate of transcription of the DRD4 gene by approximately 40% compared to the -521 C variant, suggesting the functional relevance of this polymorphism for dopaminergic neurotransmission. By genotyping infants for both the length and the regulatory polymorphisms of the DRD4 gene, the authors found that the association between disorganized attachment and the 7-repeat allele was enhanced in the presence of the -521 T allele. In the presence of both risk alleles the relative risk for disorganized attachment increased 12-fold. This result supports the authors previous postulate that DRD4 is a genetic susceptibility factor for the atypical development of attachment behavior in low-risk, non-clinical populations.


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Contact: Karl Lorenzen
molecularpsychiatry@mednet.ucla.edu
310-206-6739
Molecular Psychiatry
7-Jan-2002


Page: 1 2

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