Modifying One Gene For Oxytocin Changes Behavior in Humans

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brian W. Haas PhD Department of Psychology Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Dr. Brian Haas

Brian W. Haas PhD
Department of Psychology
Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program
University of Georgia, Athens, GA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: A burgeoning body of evidence highlights the role of several key genes within the oxytocin signaling pathway linked to sociability. Although many studies strongly supports the role of OXTR in the phenotypic expression of sociability in humans, the roles of other oxytocin pathway genes, such asOXT, has received relatively little attention.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: This study shows that epigenetic modification of OXT is an important factor associated with individual differences in social processing, including self-report, behavior and brain function and structure in humans.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Perhaps there may be ways to target the way specific genes are methylated which may be an approach to help people with problems in social-cognition, such as autism.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: It would be great to investigate the way methylation patterns of OXT change throughout the lifespan.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This study indicates that epigenetic modification of OXT may influence several forms of sociability in humans and helps the way we understand the evolutionary and genetic basis of normal and abnormal human sociability.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jun 20. pii: 201602809. [Epub ahead of print]
Epigenetic modification of OXT and human sociability.
Haas BW1, Filkowski MM2, Cochran RN2, Denison L3, Ishak A4, Nishitani S5, Smith AK3.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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