Associations of a regulatory polymorphism of monoamine oxidase-A gene promoter (MAOA-uVNTR) with symptoms of depression and sleep quality

Beverly H. Brummett, Andrew D. Krystal, Ilene C. Siegler, Cynthia Kuhn, Richard S. Surwit, Stephan Züchner, Allison Ashley-Koch, John C. Barefoot, Redford B. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationships among the variable number of tandem repeats in the monoamine oxidase-A linked polymorphic region allelic variation (MAOA-uVNTR) and the symptoms of depression and sleep quality. The monoamine oxidase-A (MAOA) gene, which plays a vital role in degradation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, contains a polymorphism in its promoter region (MAOA-uVNTR) that affects transcriptional efficiency. MAOA-uVNTR genotype has been associated with both psychological and physical measures. METHODS: The sample consisted of 74 males enrolled in a case/control study of caregivers for relatives with dementia. Age- and race-adjusted linear regression models were used to examine the association between low versus high MAOA-uVNTR activity alleles, symptoms of depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies of Depression), and sleep quality ratings (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index). RESULTS: MAOA-uVNTR alleles associated with less transcriptional activity were related to increased symptoms of depression (p < .04; Cohen's d = 0.52) and poorer sleep quality (p < .04; Cohen's d = 0.31). CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with less active MAOA-uVNTR alleles may be at increased risk for depressive symptoms and poor sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-401
Number of pages6
JournalPsychosomatic medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Monoamine oxidase-A
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)


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