Please cite this article as follows: Philibert RA, Gunter TD, Beach SR, Brody GH, Madan A. 2008. MAOA Methylation is Associated With Nicotine and Alcohol Dependence in Women. Am J Med Genet Part B 147B:565–570.
MAOA methylation is associated with nicotine and alcohol dependence in women†
Article first published online: 2 MAY 2008
Copyright © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Volume 147B, Issue 5, pages 565–570, 5 July 2008
How to Cite
Philibert, R. A., Gunter, T. D., Beach, S. R.H., Brody, G. H. and Madan, A. (2008), MAOA methylation is associated with nicotine and alcohol dependence in women. Am. J. Med. Genet., 147B: 565–570. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30778
- Issue published online: 18 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 2 MAY 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 APR 2008
- Manuscript Received: 29 JAN 2008
- monoamine oxidase A;
- alcohol dependence;
- nicotine dependence;
- variable nucleotide repeat
In recent years, the role of epigenetic phenomenon, such as methylation, in mediating vulnerability to behavioral illness has become increasingly appreciated. One prominent locus at which epigenetic phenomena are thought to be in play is the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) locus. In order to examine the role of methylation at this locus, we performed quantitative methylation analysis across the promoter region of this gene in lymphoblast lines derived from 191 subjects participating in the Iowa Adoption Studies (IAS). We analyzed the resulting data with respect to genotype and lifetime symptom counts for the more common major behavioral disorders in the IAS, antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), and substance use disorders (alcohol (AD) and nicotine dependence (ND)). We found that methylation status was significantly associated with lifetime symptom counts for ND (P < 0.001) and AD (P < 0.008) in women, but not men. Furthermore, a trend was found for women homozygous for the 3,3 allele to have a higher degree of overall methylation than women homozygous for the 4,4 allele (P < 0.10). We conclude that methylation of MAOA may play a significant role in common psychiatric illness and that further examination of epigenetic processes at this locus is in order. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.