Microsatellite Instability Generates Diversity in Brain and Sociobehavioral Traits

@article{Hammock2005MicrosatelliteIG,
  title={Microsatellite Instability Generates Diversity in Brain and Sociobehavioral Traits},
  author={Elizabeth A. D. Hammock and Larry J. Young},
  journal={Science},
  year={2005},
  volume={308},
  pages={1630 - 1634}
}
Repetitive microsatellites mutate at relatively high rates and may contribute to the rapid evolution of species-typical traits. We show that individual alleles of a repetitive polymorphic microsatellite in the 5′ region of the prairie vole vasopressin 1a receptor (avpr1a) gene modify gene expression in vitro. In vivo, we observe that this regulatory polymorphism predicts both individual differences in receptor distribution patterns and socio-behavioral traits. These data suggest that individual… 
Balancing selection maintains polymorphisms at neurogenetic loci in field experiments
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It is shown that the length of microsatellites located in the 5′ regulatory regions of Avpr1a and Oxtr are associated with reproductive success and gene expression in the brain, and balancing selection through sexually antagonistic fitness effects and density-related social influences is capable of maintaining microsatellite length polymorphisms at both genes.
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High sequence diversity between higher mammalian taxa as well as between species of the genus Microtus is detected and the importance of considering variation in the coding sequence of avpr1a in regards to associations with life history traits of voles, other mammals and humans in particular is stressed.
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The results indicated that the AVPR1A long allele was associated with a “smart” social personality in captive western chimpanzees, independent of testosterone levels, highlighting the need for comparative studies —across subspecies and research sites— in primate behavioral genetics.
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  • Biology, Psychology
    Current Opinion in Neurobiology
  • 2010
Polymorphism at the avpr1a locus in male prairie voles correlated with genetic but not social monogamy in field populations
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The relationship between avpr1a length polymorphism and monogamy among male prairie voles living in 0.1 ha enclosures during a time similar to their natural lifespan is examined, showing that melding ecological field studies with neurogenetics can substantially augment the understanding of the effects of genes and environment on social behaviours.
Individual Differences in Social Behavior and Cortical Vasopressin Receptor: Genetics, Epigenetics, and Evolution
TLDR
Recent work on individual differences in the expression of the vasopressin 1a receptor (V1aR), a major regulator of social behavior, in the neocortex of the socially monogamous prairie vole, provides insight into how genetic, epigenetic and evolutionary forces interact to shape the social brain.
Promoter microsatellites as modulators of human gene expression.
TLDR
It is suggested that promoter microsatellites, especially those that are highly conserved, may be an important source of human phenotypic variation.
Evolution of a behavior-linked microsatellite-containing element in the 5' flanking region of the primate AVPR1A gene
TLDR
There is no obvious relationship between the presence of the RS3 duplication and social organization in primates, and pharmacological and genetic association studies support a potential role for this region in influencing V1aR expression and social behavior.
Mating system and avpr1a promoter variation in primates
TLDR
It is suggested that such non-repetitive variation, either in indels or in sequence variation, are likely to be important in explaining interspecific variation in avpr1a expression.
Stabilizing selection on microsatellite allele length at arginine vasopressin 1a receptor and oxytocin receptor loci
TLDR
Breeding trials show how genetic variation at microsatellite loci associated with avpr1a and oxtr is associated with fitness, and highlight complex patterns of selection at these loci, and show how stabilizing selection might act on allele length frequency distributions at gene-associated micros satellite loci.
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