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Short Review on the Aggressive Behaviour: Genetical, Biological Aspects and Oxytocin Relevance

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In this mini-review we were interested in describing the main genetic, biological and mechanistic aspects of the aggressive behaviour in human patients and animal models. It seems that violent behaviour and impulsive traits present a multifactorial substrate, which is determined by genetic and non-genetic factors. Thus, aggressivity is regulated by brain regions such as the amygdala, which controls neural circuits for triggering defensive, aggressive or avoidant behaviour. Moreover, other brain structures such as the anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex regions could modulate circuits involved in aggression. Regarding the genetic aspects, we could mention the mutations in the monoamine oxidase or the polymorphisms of the genes involved in the metabolism of serotonin, such as tryptophan hydroxylase. Also, besides the low levels of serotonin metabolites, which seem to be associated with impulsive and aggressive traits, there are good evidences that deficiencies in glutamate transmission, as well as testosterone, vasopressin, hypochloesterolemia or oxytocin modifications could be related to the aggressive behaviour. Regarding oxytocin we present here in the last chapter the controversial results from the current literature regarding the various effects exhibited by oxytocin administration on the aggressive behavior, considering the increased interest in understanding the role of oxytocin on the main neuropsychiatric disorders.


International Letters of Natural Sciences (Volume 52)
M. Padurariu et al., "Short Review on the Aggressive Behaviour: Genetical, Biological Aspects and Oxytocin Relevance", International Letters of Natural Sciences, Vol. 52, pp. 43-53, 2016
Online since:
Mar 2016