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Serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms: Effect on serotonin transporter availability in the brain of suicide attempters.

Journal article
Authors Jessica Bah Rösman
Mats Lindström
Lars Westberg
Louise Mannerås
Erik Ryding
Susanne Henningsson
Jonas Melke
Ingmar Rosén
Lil Träskman-Bendz
Elias Eriksson
Published in Psychiatry research
Volume 162
Issue 3
Pages 221-9
ISSN 0165-1781
Publication year 2008
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 221-9
Language en
Subject categories Physiology


The efficacy of serotonin reuptake inhibitors in depression and anxiety disorders suggests the gene coding for the serotonin transporter (5-HTT), SLC6A4, as a candidate of importance for these conditions. Positive findings regarding associations between polymorphisms in SLC6A4 have been reported, indicating that these polymorphisms may influence anxiety-related personality traits, as well as the risk of developing depression and suicidality. Serotonin 5-HTT availability was assessed with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), using (123)I-beta-CIT as ligand, in a population of unmedicated male suicide attempters (n=9) and in matched controls (n=9). Two polymorphisms in SLC6A4 were assessed, including the 5-HTTLPR located in the promoter region and a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) polymorphism in intron 2 (STin2). In suicide attempters, but not in controls, low 5-HTT availability was associated with the S allele of 5-HTTLPR and with the 12 repeat allele of STin2. Data suggest that polymorphisms in SLC6A4 may influence the expression of the brain serotonin transporter in suicide attempters.

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