Genetic studies on human personality have provided little satisfactory results to date mainly because of the complexity of this trait. Neonatal temperament using observational measures is an alternative phenotype to approach genetics to human behavior. An association study was conducted on 117 Caucasian newborns. Their temperament was evaluated using the Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale 48 h after birth. Thirteen polymorphisms in the SLC6A4, DRD4 and TFAP2B genes were genotyped. Linear regression was performed to analyze data, and Bonferroni correction was applied. To check the functional effect of the TFAP2B Indel Intron 2 polymorphism, reporter gene luciferase assays using a mouse cortical neural progenitor cell line and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) studies in human post-mortem brain samples were performed. A significant association was found between 5-HTTLPR, 5-HTTLPR + rs25531 and TFAP2B Indel Intron 2 with Range of State cluster as well as an interaction between rs25531 and TFAP2B Indel Intron 2 with Range of State. DRD4 variable number tandem repeat exon 3 was associated with orientation. A 30% increase in the luciferase levels of the TFAP2B 5-repeat alleles compared with the 6-repeat alleles (P-value = 0.03) was found using the pGL3 promoter vector. The qPCR experiments showed the same trend as the in vitro studies, although no significant results were obtained. This study supports a role of the SLC6A4, DRD4 and TFAP2B genes in the temperament, including a gene-gene interaction between SLC6A4 and TFAP2B. It also provides evidence about an effect of the TFAP2B polymorphism in TFAP2B gene transcription.
Ivorra, J. L., D’Souza, U. M., Jover, M., Arranz, M. J., Williams, B. P., Henry, S. E., … Molto, M. D. (2011). Association between neonatal temperament, SLC6A4, DRD4 and a functional polymorphism located in TFAP2B. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 10(5), 570–578. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1601-183X.2011.00696.x