Variations in 5-HTTLPR: relation to familiar risk of affective disorder, life events, neuroticism and cortisol

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Maj Vinberg, Erling Mellerup, Per Kragh Andersen, Bente Bennike, Lars Vedel Kessing

BACKGROUND: Variations in the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) and stressful life events are associated with affective disorders. AIM: To investigate whether the distribution of the alleles of the 5-HTTLPR is associated with a genetic predisposition to affective disorder and whether these variations interact with life events in relation to depressive symptoms, neuroticism and salivary cortisol. METHOD: In a high-risk population study, healthy monozygotic and dizygotic twins with (high-risk twins) and without (low-risk twins) a co-twin history of affective disorder were identified through nationwide registers. RESULTS: When comparing the 81 individuals homozygote for the long allele with the 125 individuals hetero- and homozygote for the short allele no associations between the allele distribution and a genetic predisposition were found. The presence of the short allele of the 5-HTTLPR and the experience of SLE was associated with a higher neuroticism score, but not with depressive symptoms nor awakening or evening salivary cortisol. CONCLUSION: A combination of variants in 5-HTTLPR and environmental stress seems to increase neuroticism in healthy individuals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
Volume34
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages5
ISSN0278-5846
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ID: 16914698