alexa Amygdala Volume in Offspring from Multiplex for Alcohol
ISSN: 2329-6488

Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
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Research Article

Amygdala Volume in Offspring from Multiplex for Alcohol Dependence Families: The Moderating Influence of Childhood Environment and 5-HTTLPR Variation

Shirley Y Hill*, Shuhui Wang , Howard Carter, Michael D McDermott, Nicholas Zezza and Scott Stiffler
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Corresponding Author : Shirley Y Hill
Department of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
3811 O’Hara St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Tel: 412-624 3505
Fax: 412-624 3986
E-mail: [email protected]
Received October 23, 2013; Accepted December 05, 2013; Published December 12, 2013
Citation: Hill SY, Wang S, Carter H, McDermott MD, Zezza N, et al. (2013) Amygdala Volume in Offspring from Multiplex for Alcohol Dependence Families: The Moderating Influence of Childhood Environment and 5-HTTLPR Variation. J Alcohol Drug Depend S1:001. doi:10.4172/2329-6488.S1-001
Copyright: © 2013 Hill, This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

Background: The increased susceptibility for developing alcohol dependence seen in offspring from families with alcohol dependence may be related to structural and functional differences in brain circuits that influence emotional processing. Early childhood environment, genetic variation in the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) of the SLCA4 gene and allelic variation in the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) gene have each been reported to be related to volumetric differences in the temporal lobe especially the amygdala Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging was used to obtain amygdala volumes for 129 adolescent/young adult individuals who were either High-Risk (HR) offspring from families with multiple cases of alcohol dependence (N=71) or Low-Risk (LR) controls (N=58). Childhood family environment was measured prospectively using age-appropriate versions of the Family Environment Scale during a longitudinal follow-up study. The subjects were genotyped for Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Val66Met and the serotonin transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR). Two family environment scale scores (Cohesion and Conflict), genotypic variation, and their interaction were tested for their association with amygdala volumes. Personal and prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs were considered in statistical analyses in order to more accurately determine the effects of familial risk group differences. Results: Amygdala volume was reduced in offspring from families with multiple alcohol dependent members in comparison to offspring from control families. High-Risk offspring who were carriers of the S variant of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism had reduced amygdala volume in comparison to those with an LL genotype. Larger amygdala volume was associated with greater family cohesion but only in Low-Risk control offspring. Conclusions: Familial risk for alcohol dependence is an important predictor of amygdala volume even when removing cases with significant personal exposure and covarying for prenatal exposure effects. The present study provides new evidence that amygdala volume is modified by 5-HTTLPR variation in High-Risk families.

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