Association of monoamine oxidase-A genetic variants and amygdala morphology in violent offenders with antisocial personality disorder and high psychopathic traits.

TitleAssociation of monoamine oxidase-A genetic variants and amygdala morphology in violent offenders with antisocial personality disorder and high psychopathic traits.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKolla NJ, Patel R, Meyer JH, M Chakravarty M
JournalSci Rep
Volume7
Issue1
Pagination9607
Date Published2017 Aug 29
ISSN2045-2322
Abstract

Violent offending is elevated among individuals with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and high psychopathic traits (PP). Morphological abnormalities of the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) are present in violent offenders, which may relate to the violence enacted by ASPD + PP. Among healthy males, monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) genetic variants linked to low in vitro transcription (MAOA-L) are associated with structural abnormalities of the amygdala and OFC. However, it is currently unknown whether amygdala and OFC morphology in ASPD relate to MAO-A genetic polymorphisms. We studied 18 ASPD males with a history of violent offending and 20 healthy male controls. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral leukocytes to determine MAO-A genetic polymorphisms. Subjects underwent a T1-weighted MRI anatomical brain scan that provided vertex-wise measures of amygdala shape and surface area and OFC cortical thickness. We found that ASPD + PP subjects with MAOA-L exhibited decreased surface area in the right basolateral amygdala nucleus and increased surface area in the right anterior cortical amygdaloid nucleus versus healthy MAOA-L carriers. This study is the first to describe genotype-related morphological differences of the amygdala in a population marked by high aggression. Deficits in emotional regulation that contribute to the violence of ASPD + PP may relate to morphological changes of the amygdala under genetic control.

DOI10.1038/s41598-017-08351-w
Alternate JournalSci Rep
PubMed ID28851912
PubMed Central IDPMC5575239