Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Mothers' prenatal stress and their children's antisocial outcomes--a moderating role for the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene


Zohsel, Katrin; Buchmann, Arlette F; Blomeyer, Dorothea; Hohm, Erika; Schmidt, Martin H; Esser, Günter; Brandeis, Daniel; Banaschewski, Tobias; Laucht, Manfred (2014). Mothers' prenatal stress and their children's antisocial outcomes--a moderating role for the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55(1):69-76.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Maternal distress during pregnancy has been linked to aggressive behavior in offspring. This effect has been interpreted in terms of 'fetal programming'. The 7-repeat (7r) allele of a VNTR polymorphism in exon III of the human dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) has consistently been associated with externalizing behavior problems, especially in the presence of adverse environmental factors. So far, it is not known whether the DRD4 genotype moderates the effect of prenatal maternal stress on the development of childhood antisocial behavior. METHODS As part of an ongoing epidemiological cohort study, prenatal maternal stress was assessed using self-report 3 months following child birth. When children were 8, 11, and 15 years old, mothers rated their children's externalizing behavior, and diagnoses of conduct disorder and/or oppositional defiant disorder (CD/ODD) according to DSM-IV were obtained. In a sample of N = 308 participants, the effects of the DRD4 genotype, prenatal maternal stress, and the interaction thereof on antisocial outcome were tested. RESULTS Under conditions of elevated prenatal maternal stress, children carrying one or two DRD4 7r alleles were at increased risk of a diagnosis of CD/ODD. Moreover, homozygous carriers of the DRD4 7r allele displayed more externalizing behavior following exposure to higher levels of prenatal maternal stress, while homozygous carriers of the DRD4 4r allele turned out to be insensitive to the effects of prenatal stress. CONCLUSIONS This study is the first to report a gene-environment interaction related to DRD4 and prenatal maternal stress using data from a prospective study, which extends earlier findings on the impact of prenatal maternal stress with respect to childhood antisocial behavior.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Maternal distress during pregnancy has been linked to aggressive behavior in offspring. This effect has been interpreted in terms of 'fetal programming'. The 7-repeat (7r) allele of a VNTR polymorphism in exon III of the human dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) has consistently been associated with externalizing behavior problems, especially in the presence of adverse environmental factors. So far, it is not known whether the DRD4 genotype moderates the effect of prenatal maternal stress on the development of childhood antisocial behavior. METHODS As part of an ongoing epidemiological cohort study, prenatal maternal stress was assessed using self-report 3 months following child birth. When children were 8, 11, and 15 years old, mothers rated their children's externalizing behavior, and diagnoses of conduct disorder and/or oppositional defiant disorder (CD/ODD) according to DSM-IV were obtained. In a sample of N = 308 participants, the effects of the DRD4 genotype, prenatal maternal stress, and the interaction thereof on antisocial outcome were tested. RESULTS Under conditions of elevated prenatal maternal stress, children carrying one or two DRD4 7r alleles were at increased risk of a diagnosis of CD/ODD. Moreover, homozygous carriers of the DRD4 7r allele displayed more externalizing behavior following exposure to higher levels of prenatal maternal stress, while homozygous carriers of the DRD4 4r allele turned out to be insensitive to the effects of prenatal stress. CONCLUSIONS This study is the first to report a gene-environment interaction related to DRD4 and prenatal maternal stress using data from a prospective study, which extends earlier findings on the impact of prenatal maternal stress with respect to childhood antisocial behavior.

Statistics

Citations

27 citations in Web of Science®
26 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 13 Feb 2015
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:January 2014
Deposited On:13 Feb 2015 14:34
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 10:44
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0021-9630
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12138
PubMed ID:24102377

Download