Associations between an alpha 2A adrenergic receptor gene polymorphism and adolescent personality

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2008 Jun 5;147B(4):418-23. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30621.


The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of the C-1291G polymorphism in the promoter region of the alpha 2A adrenoreceptor gene (ADRA2A) to the personality traits. In the present study, data of the younger cohort of the Estonian Children Personality Behaviour and Health Study was used (N = 419). Personality traits were assessed by 240-item (Estonian Personality Item Pool NEO (EPIP-NEO)). Restriction enzyme MspI was used after PCR amplification to genotype the subjects according to C-1291G polymorphism of the ADRA2A. There were no significant differences on the level of the Big Five personality domains between genotypes; however, there were three significant differences on the level of different subscales. The subjects with GG genotype had significantly higher scores on Depression and significantly lower scores on Morality and Orderliness compared to subjects with CC and CG genotypes. There was a significant interaction between sex and ADRA2A polymorphism regarding E1, Friendliness; E2, Gregariousness; and E6, Cheerfulness. With CC and CG genotypes girls had higher scores on extraversion scales than boys, but with GG genotype boys score higher than girls with GG genotype. It is concluded that the gene polymorphism in the ADRA2A has an influence on personality traits in adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Estonia
  • Extraversion, Psychological
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Personality / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2 / genetics*
  • Sex Factors


  • ADRA2A protein, human
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2