Polymorphism of the 3?-UTR of the dopamine transporter gene (DAT) in New World monkeys

Genetic polymorphism in the 3?-untranslated region (3?-UTR) of the dopamine transporter (DAT) gene has been reported in both human and nonhuman primates, and the variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) polymorphism has been related to several neurological and psychiatric disorders. As New World primates have been employed as models in biomedical research in these fields, in the present study we assessed genetic variation in the DAT gene in 25 robust capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.) and 39 common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Using enzymatic amplification followed by sequencing of amplified fragments, a VNTR polymorphism in the 3?-UTR region of the DAT gene was identified in both robust capuchins and common marmosets. The polymorphic tandem repeat of 40-bp basic units is similar to the human VNTR consensus sequence, with size variants composed of 9, 10, and 11 units in marmosets and 8, 9, 13, and 17 basic units in capuchins. We found behavioral evidence that carrying the 10-repeat DAT allele promotes flexible choice and maximization of foraging in marmosets tested in an operant choice paradigm. Moreover, in an intertemporal choice task, capuchins with longer repeat variants show less self-controlled choices than capuchins with at least one short repeat variant. Future research should focus on the relationship between these DAT polymorphisms, dopamine reuptake via the dopamine transporter, and behavioral and cognitive variation across New World monkey individuals.

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Lucarelli, Marco
Visalberghi, Elisabetta
Adriani, Walter
Addessi, Elsa
Pierandrei, Silvia
Manciocco, Arianna
Zoratto, Francesca
Tamellini, Andrea
Vitale, Augusto
Laviola, Giovanni
Alfaro, Jessica Lynch
Pascale, Esterina
Japan Monkey Centre., Inuyama, Giappone
Primates 58 (2017): 169–178. doi:10.1007/s10329-016-0560-0
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Lucarelli, Marco; Lucarelli, Marco; Visalberghi, Elisabetta; Adriani, Walter; Addessi, Elsa; Pierandrei, Silvia; Pierandrei, Silvia; Manciocco, Arianna; Zoratto, Francesca; Tamellini, Andrea; Vitale, Augusto; Laviola, Giovanni;
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