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GENES AND AGGRESSION: FROM MICE TO HUMANS
Department of Psychology, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA
Pacific Biomedical Research Center and Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
For more than 60 years, research on the genetics of mammalian aggression has focused on the mouse. It has been hoped that the findings with mice would be relevant to our understanding of the causes of aggression in humans. Since the mid 1990s, more than 15 genes have been identified with effects on offense type aggression in male mice. These genes have homologues in humans with similar effects on molecular and cellular biology. Pierre L. Roubertoux (Attack behavior in mice: implications of the Sts gene mapped on the pairing region of the X-Y chromosomes) will discuss his research program on the genetics of mouse aggression, and he will relate these studies to the genetics of human aggression. Pascale V. Guillot (Genetic determinants of aggressive behavior) will relate research on the role of the Y chromosome in mouse aggression to a program of research on primate and human aggression. The formal discussant for this symposium will be Caroline Blanchard who is concerned with the relevance of findings on animal aggression to those on
IS-2.1.-Attack behavior in mice: implication of the steroid
sulfatase gene mapped on the pairing region of the X-Y-chromosomes.
P.L., Mortaud, S., Nicolas, L., Le Roy, I.
and Tordjma, S.
UPR CNRS 9074, Génétique, Neurogénétique, Comportement, Institut de
Transgénose, Orléans, France.
IS-2.2.-Genetic determinism of aggressive behavior
Guillot, P.V., Kittles, R.A., Long, J.C., Bergen,
A.W. , Virkkunen*,
M., Naukarinnen, H., Linnoila, M. and Goldman, D.
Laboratory of Clinical Studies, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, USA. *Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
In mice, aggression has a genetic component which acts
in concert with environmental factors. Furthermore, inter-individual differences
for the propensity to attack are partly attributable to allelic variants located
on both the non-pseudoautosomal and recombinant regions of the mouse Y
chromosome. However, no nucleotide change in a Y chromosome gene has yet been
found to account for a behavior difference. Interspecies comparisons of
aggressive behavior reveals some similarities between primates and mice,
including both the existence of sexual dimorphism (males being more aggressive
than females) and inter-male differences. Measures of aggression in primates and
rodents are compared. The data supporting Y chromosome-specific factors in
murine aggression are principally from reciprocal crosses, in which the strain
of origin of the male parent predicts behavior. The human data derive from a Y-haplotype
association study conducted in a Finnish population [Kittles et al., 1998,
1999]. Type II alcoholism and antisocial personality disorder (ASDP) are
commonly associated in men in Swedish and American populations. Whereas
Y-chromosome variations account for individual differences in alcohol dependence
in Finnish population, results failed to show an association between a
Y-chromosome haplotype and ASDP. Relevance of murine attack behavior to human
aggression is discussed. The hypothesis that Y chromosome gene variation is
responsible for behavioral variation now requires direct testing at the gene
sequence level. The genes located on the Y chromosome are TSPY, RPS4Y, TDF, ZFY,
PRKY, AZF1, BPY, DBY, HY, RNM , and it is these genes whose allelic variants
could influence inter-individual behavioral variations. Of particular interest
for primate behavioral variation may be RPS4Y because this ribosomal protein
subunit gene does not have a Y chromosome counterpart in rodents. Both humans
and rodents have an RPS4X gene [Bergen et al. 1998]; the RPS4Y gene could be a
primate-distinct origin of sexual dimorphism and intermale behavioral variation.