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Association of Genetic Variation in the Promoter Region of OXTR with Differences in Social Affective Neural Processing

Author(s): Christian Montag | Jeremy Hall | Martin Reuter | Andrew C. Stanfield | Garret O’Connell | Heather C. Whalley | Prerona Mukherjee

Journal: Journal of Biophysical Chemistry
ISSN 2153-036X

Volume: 02;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 60;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: OXTR | Promoter Region | Inferior Occipital Gyrus | fMRI | Emotional Facial Processing

Evidence supports the involvement of oxytocin in social behavior. The oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) has been associated with differences in social brain function and risk for autism. Motivated by recent work, we investigated the effect of variation in the common functional rs2268498 T/C polymorphism in the promoter region of OXTR on neural responses to fear expressions. 46 healthy subjects were divided into genotype groups of C carriers (n = 32) and TT ho-mozygous (n = 14) and neural activity was measured during the recognition of fear and neutral expressions. Results showed that during the recognition of fear expressions, the TT genotype group exhibited increased responding in the inferior occipital gyrus, considered important for face processing, compared to carriers of the C allele (P < 0.005; cluster corrected for whole brain), an effect not found for neutral faces. These results indicate the impact of this OXTR genetic variant on individual differences in social affective neural processing.

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