The Drosophila foraging gene human orthologue PRKG1 predicts individual differences in the effects of early adversity on maternal sensitivity.

TitleThe Drosophila foraging gene human orthologue PRKG1 predicts individual differences in the effects of early adversity on maternal sensitivity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsH Sokolowski M, Vasquez OE, Unternaehrer E, Sokolowski DJ, Biergans SD, Atkinson L, Gonzalez A, Silveira PP, Levitan R, O'Donnell K, Steiner M, Kennedy J, Meaney MJ, Fleming AS, Sokolowski MB
JournalCogn Dev
Volume42
Pagination62-73
Date Published2017 Apr
ISSN0885-2014
Abstract

There is variation in the extent to which childhood adverse experience affects adult individual differences in maternal behavior. Genetic variation in the animal foraging gene, which encodes a cGMP-dependent protein kinase, contributes to variation in the responses of adult fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, to early life adversity and is also known to play a role in maternal behavior in social insects. Here we investigate genetic variation in the human foraging gene (PRKG1) as a predictor of individual differences in the effects of early adversity on maternal behavior in two cohorts. We show that the PRKG1 genetic polymorphism rs2043556 associates with maternal sensitivity towards their infants. We also show that rs2043556 moderates the association between self-reported childhood adversity of the mother and her later maternal sensitivity. Mothers with the TT allele of rs2043556 appeared buffered from the effects of early adversity, whereas mothers with the presence of a C allele were not. Our study used the Toronto Longitudinal Cohort (N=288 mother-16 month old infant pairs) and the Maternal Adversity and Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment Cohort (N=281 mother-18 month old infant pairs). Our findings expand the literature on the contributions of both genetics and gene-environment interactions to maternal sensitivity, a salient feature of the early environment relevant for child neurodevelopment.

DOI10.1016/j.cogdev.2016.11.001
Alternate JournalCogn Dev
PubMed ID28827895
PubMed Central IDPMC5562168
Grant ListR01 DK070141 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States

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