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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Monoamine oxidase A regulates antisocial personality in whites with no history of physical abuse.

OBJECTIVE: Preclinical and human family studies clearly link monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) to aggression and antisocial personality (ASP). The 30-base pair variable number tandem repeat in the MAOA promoter regulates MAOA levels, but its effects on ASP in humans are unclear. METHODS: We evaluated the association of the variable number tandem repeat of the MAOA promoter with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, ASP disorder (ASPD) traits in a community sample of 435 participants from the Hopkins Epidemiology of Personality Disorders Study. RESULTS: We did not find an association between the activity of the MAOA allele and ASPD traits; however, among whites, when subjects with a history of childhood physical abuse were excluded, the remaining subjects with low-activity alleles had ASPD trait counts that were 41% greater than those with high-activity alleles (P < .05). CONCLUSION: The high-activity MAOA allele is protective against ASP among whites with no history of physical abuse, lending support to a link between MAOA expression and antisocial behavior.[1]


  1. Monoamine oxidase A regulates antisocial personality in whites with no history of physical abuse. Reti, I.M., Xu, J.Z., Yanofski, J., McKibben, J., Uhart, M., Cheng, Y.J., Zandi, P., Bienvenu, O.J., Samuels, J., Willour, V., Kasch-Semenza, L., Costa, P., Bandeen-Roche, K., Eaton, W.W., Nestadt, G. Compr. Psychiatry (2011) [Pubmed]
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