Background: The A118G single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the μ-opioid receptor gene, with high expression of the A allele and low expression of the G allele, has been associated with emotional/behavioral dysregulation and depressive disorders and is recognized as a mediator of affiliative behavior. No study has thus far investigated this SNP in school-age children with disruptive mood regulation disorder (DMDD). This study compared a sample of healthy children and their mothers with a sample of children with DMDD and their mothers, evaluating whether insecure attachment and psychopathological symptoms are associated with A allele- or G allelecarrying mothers and children and whether caregiving capacities are associated with A allele- or G allele-carrying mothers. Methods: For evaluation of their psychopathological symptoms and attachment styles, mothers filled out the CBCL/6-18, the SCL-90-R, and the ECR. To evaluate the types of relationship children were experiencing with their mothers, children filled out the ECR-revised child version and the PBI. Genotypic analyses were conducted on DNA samples obtained by buccal swabbing from children and mothers. Results: An insecure attachment style was more frequent in mothers and children carrying the G allele (G/G + A/G genotypes). In the clinical sample, G allele-carrying children scored higher than homozygous A/A ones on the subscales of Withdrawal and Conduct Problems. G-carrying mothers showed higher interpersonal sensitivity, depression, hostility, and paranoid ideation and provided less care than A/A mothers. Conclusions: This study offers new insights into the associations between the A118G SNP of the μ-opioid receptor gene and emotional/behavioral functioning, attachment style in children, and psychopathology and caregiving ability in mothers.
The μ-opioid receptor gene A118G polymorphism is associated with insecure attachment in children with disruptive mood regulation disorder and their mothers / Cimino, Silvia; Carola, Valeria; Cerniglia, Luca; Bussone, Silvia; Bevilacqua, Arturo; Tambelli, Renata. - In: BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR. - ISSN 2162-3279. - (2020), pp. 1-12. [10.1002/brb3.1659]