Association Between the rs4680 Polymorphism of the COMT Gene and Personality Traits among Combat Sports Athletes
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Faculty of Physical Education, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, Gdansk, Poland
Institute of Sports Sciences, University of Physical Education in Krakow, Krakow, Poland
Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Collegium Medicum, University of Zielona Góra, Zielona Góra, Poland
Independent Laboratory of Health Promotion, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland
Institute of Sport, National Research Institute, Poland
Submission date: 2023-01-14
Acceptance date: 2023-06-05
Online publication date: 2023-07-06
Corresponding author
Anna Grzywacz   

Independent Laboratory of Health Promotion, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Aleja Powstańcόw Wielkopolskich 72, 70-111 Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland
Journal of Human Kinetics 2023;89:89–99
Physical performance has been the focus of studies examining genetic influences in martial arts. There has been little quantitative analysis of the interaction between psychological traits and gene variants in athletes. This study aimed to determine whether the rs4680 polymorphism of the COMT gene (catechol-O-methyltransferase) was linked to other sports phenotypes such as temperament, mental toughness, and stress tolerance. In our study, we concentrated on the case-control analysis of athletes in the aspect of their personality traits in association with the COMT gene polymorphism. Participants comprised 258 combat sports athletes and 278 healthy male individuals as a control group. Psychometric properties were assessed with the Revised Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R). COMT polymorphism testing was performed using real-time PCR. We found a statistically significant effect of a complex factor COMT rs4680 genotype with combat athletes/controls and novelty seeking (F2,530 = 5.958, p = 0.0028, η2 = 0.022), self-management (F2,530 = 6.772, p = 0.0012, η2 = 0.025), and with self-transcendence skills (F2,530 = 9.387, p = 0.00009, η2 = 0.034). The results are important for encouraging further studies on the genetic makeup of athletes in conjunction with personality traits. Due to the multigene and multifactorial nature of determinants of sports predispositions, we propose to take into account also other features, especially when studying genes related to cerebral neurotransmission. It is a holistic departure, and it clearly illustrates the relationship between the given characteristics of an athlete.
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