Relationship Between Polymorphism of Monoamine Oxidase Gene A (MAO-A) with Motivation to Physical Activity and Its Level in Healthy Men and Women

Document Type : Original Article


1 Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology.Department of Exercise Physiology, Sport Sciences Research Institute, Tehran, Iran.

3 Professor of Exercise Physiology.Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Background and Objective: MAO-A is an enzyme that breaks down neural mediators such as dopamine and serotonin. This study investigates the relationship between monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) gene polymorphism with exercise motivation and physical activity level in healthy men and women.
Subjects and Methods: One hundred twenty-two participants (age mean 24.37 ± 5.72 years old, 55 males & 67 females) completed the behavioral regulation in exercise questionnaire–2 (BREQ-2) to assess their motivation to exercise and the international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ) to assess their level of physical activity. DNA was isolated from a cheek cell sample. MAO-A genotype was identified by PCR with specific primers.
Results: One-way ANOVA test for comparing BREQ-2 scores and specific motivational groups showed that the mean of BREQ-2 total scores was not significantly different between genotypes. Also, there was no significant difference in motivational categories between genotypes (P>0.05). It was also found that individuals carrying the 3.5/3.5 genotype had more body activity per week than the other two genotypes, although this difference was not significant (P>0.05).
Conclusion: In general, the present study did not show the expected relationship between MAO-A genotype and level of physical activity because there is no difference between the amount of physical activity between genotypes. This suggests that intrinsic factors play an important role in determining the level of physical activity.


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