Role of serotonin transporter promoter repeat length polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) in seasonality and seasonal affective disorder

N. E. Rosenthal, C. M. Mazzanti, R. L. Barnett, T. A. Hardin, E. H. Turner, G. K. Lam, N. Ozaki, D. Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations

Abstract

Seasonal variations in mood and behavior (seasonality) and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) have been attributed to seasonal fluctuations in brain serotonin (5-HT). The short (s), as opposed to the long (l), allele of the 5-HT transporter linked polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) has been associated with neuroticism and depression. We hypothesized that this short allele would also be associated with SAD and with higher levels of seasonality. Ninety-seven SAD patients and 71 non-seasonal healthy controls with low seasonality levels were genotyped for 5-HTTLPR and compared statistically. Patients with SAD were less likely to have the l/l genotype (27.8% vs 47.9%; P < 0.01) and more likely to have the s allele (44.8% vs 32.4%; P < 0.02) as compared to controls. The three 5-HTTLPR genotypes were also differentially distributed in patients and controls (P < 0.03). The SAD patients with the l/l genotype had a lower mean seasonality score than did patients with the other two genotypes (mean ± s.d., = 15.3 ± 2.8 vs 17.1 ± 3.4 respectively; P < 0.02). The 5-HTTLPR short allele contributes to the trait of seasonality and is a risk factor for SAD, providing further evidence for a relationship between genetic variation in the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) and behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-177
Number of pages3
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

Keywords

  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Seasonality
  • Serotonin transporter gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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