[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 1993

Paternal and Maternal Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Cerebrospinal Fluid MonoamineMetabolites in Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of ClinicalStudies, DICBR, NationalInstitute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, Md(Drs Higley, Goldman, and Linnoila and Ms Hasert); Department of Psychology,University of Virginia,Charlottesville(Mr Thompson); Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health AnimalCenter, Poolesville, Md(Drs Champoux, Scanlan, andSuomi); and Harlow Primate Laboratory, University of Wisconsin, Madison(Dr Kraemer). Dr Scanlan isnow at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(8):615-623. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820200025003

Background:  To study genetic and environmental con-tributions to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) monoamine con-centrations, 55 young rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)were reared apart from their 10 fathers to perform a pa-ternal half-sibling analysis.

Methods:  To study maternal genetic contributions, 23infants were reared with their mothers, 23 infants wereremoved from their mothers at birth and fostered to un-related lactating female monkeys, and 24 infants were re-moved from their mothers at birth and reared with age-matched peers. When the monkeys reached age 6 months,CSF samples were obtained via cisternal puncture priorto and during a series of social separations.

Results:  When the results were statistically pooled ac-cording to the biological father, comparisons using anal-ysis of variance indicated that both CSF 5-hydroxyin-doleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and homovanillic acid (HVA)concentrations showed significant heritable (h2) effects(h2>0.5) for both sons and daughters, whereas 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) showed a nearly signif-icant paternal genetic effect only for sons (h2>0.5). Inaddition, there were substantial maternal genetic influ-ences on the young monkeys' CSF MHPG and 5-HIAA(h2>0.5) levels. Structural equation analyses indicated amaternal genetic contribution without a maternal envi-ronmental contribution to CSF 5-HIAA concentration; onthe other hand, there was both a maternal genetic andenvironmental contribution to MHPG.

Conclusions:  These findings suggest that a significantportion of the variance in the turnover of the monoamineneurotransmitters is determined by genetic mechanisms.