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  5. πŸ“ Aggressive Behavior and Altered Amounts of Brain Serotonin and Norepinephrine in Mice Lacking MAOA

πŸ“ Aggressive Behavior and Altered Amounts of Brain Serotonin and Norepinephrine in Mice Lacking MAOA

In the debate surrounding advances in genetic research on aggressive behavior (1), transgenic animal models carrying single gene defects are of critical importance. We describe transgenic mice lacking MAOA as a result of the integration of an interferon Ξ² (IFN-Ξ²) transgene into the gene encoding MAOA, and report that MAOA-deficient males show increased aggressiveness. MAOA and monoamine oxidase B (MAOB) are mitochondrially located enzymes with overlapping substrate specificities and tissue distributions. They inactivate neuroactive amines such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. MAOA and MAOB are encoded by separate genes that are closely linked on the X chromosome, and they share 70% similarity in amino acid sequence (2). The loss of both MAO genes may be implicated in the severe mental retardation of some patients with Norrie disease (3), and recently a family has been described in which a point mutation in the gene encoding MAOA abolishes MAOA catalytic activity and is associated with impulsive aggression (4)

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Updated on March 17, 2020

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