Objective. To investigate the effects of a functional polymorphism of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene on spontaneous brain activity in healthy male adolescents. Methods. Thirty-one healthy male adolescents with the low-activity MAOA genotype (MAOA-L) and 25 healthy male adolescents with the high-activity MAOA genotype (MAOA-H) completed the 11-item Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) questionnaire and were subjected to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) scans. The amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) of the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal was calculated using REST software. ALFF data were related to BIS scores and compared between genotype groups. Results. Compared with the MAOA-H group, the MAOA-L group showed significantly lower ALFFs in the pons. There was a significant correlation between the BIS scores and the ALFF values in the pons for MAOA-L group, but not for the MAOA-H group. Further regression analysis showed a significant genotype by ALFF values interaction effect on BIS scores. Conclusions. Lower spontaneous brain activity in the pons of the MAOA-L male adolescents may provide a neural mechanism by which boys with the MAOA-L genotype confers risk for impulsivity and aggression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)