Mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms and extraversion

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2004 Jul 1;128B(1):76-9. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.20141.


Mitochondria is the major site of energy production in cells, therefore, mitochondrial abnormality may affect functions of organs including the brain, which constantly requires high levels of energy consumption. Previous studies have suggested a role of mitochondria and their DNA polymorphisms in neuro-psychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder. Thus, we hypothesized that mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms might be related with the development of personality. The present study investigated a role of two mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms, the C5178A and A10398G, in personality traits evaluated using the NEO PI-R scores in 238 healthy Japanese volunteers. Subjects with the 5178A genotype showed significantly higher extraversion score than those with the 5178C genotype (P = 0.027), while no significant association was observed between the C5178A polymorphism and other scores. No significant association was found between the A10398G polymorphism and any scores. Regarding the 5178-10398 haplotype, the score of extraversion, not other scores, was significantly associated with the A-G haplotype (P = 0.042). Although further studies are recommended for the confirmation, the result may suggest a role of the mitochondrial DNA polymorphism in the personality trait.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / physiology
  • Extraversion, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Development
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / physiology*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial