Role of variation in the serotonin transporter protein gene (SLC6A4) in trait disturbances in the ventral anterior cingulate in bipolar disorder.
ABSTRACT Bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with abnormalities of the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) and its connection sites, including the amygdala, which are key components of a corticolimbic neural system that subserves emotional regulation. Decreased functional connectivity from the vACC to the amygdala in healthy individuals is associated with the short 's' allele--as opposed to the long 'l' allele--of a well-known serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR, locus SLC6A4), as are features of BD. This study tests the hypothesis that the s allele influences dysfunction in the vACC-amygdala neural system in BD. A total of 30 euthymic individuals with BD (20 s carriers, 10 ll) and 48 healthy comparison (HC) participants (34 s, 14 ll) participated in an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging scan while processing fearful, happy, or neutral faces. During fear and happy face processing, vACC activation was significantly lower in the BD compared to the HC group, and in s carriers compared to ll individuals within both the HC and BD groups, such that BD s carriers exhibited the greatest magnitude of vACC dysfunction. No significant differences were detected in amygdala activation. The findings suggest that the 5-HTTLPR s allele may contribute to a trait-related, genetically derived, neurobiological subgroup within BD characterized by prominent vACC dysfunction. Future treatment may be optimized for this BD subgroup by targeting the serotonergic system and the vACC.
Article: Serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism in African Americans : allele frequencies and implications for treatment.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Americans of African ancestry are less likely to receive a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for treatment of major depressive disorder than Americans of European ancestry. A functional insertion/deletion polymorphism in the promoter of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene SLC6A4 has been shown to modulate SLC6A4 transcription, affecting response to SSRIs. Several studies in populations of predominantly European ancestry have consistently found that the SLC6A4 promoter polymorphism (referred to as the 5-HTT-linked polymorphic region; 5-HTTLPR) long (L) allele is associated with better response to SSRI treatment than the short (S) allele. The frequency of SLC6A4 (5-HTTLPR) alleles in 865 black Americans and Afro-Caribbeans was examined to assess possible implications for treatment. SLC6A4 (5-HTTLPR) genotypes were determined in individuals with self-identified African ancestry from South Carolina (n = 489), western Pennsylvania (n = 207), and Tobago (n = 169). Frequencies were compared using chi-square analyses. It was verified that the L allele is highly prevalent in Americans of African ancestry, ranging from 77% in western Pennsylvania to 87% in South Carolina. The frequency of the SLC6A4-(L) allele is significantly higher in African-Americans than has been reported for European-Americans (typically 56-60%). There are both statistically significant geographic differences and slight deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Given the potential influence on treatment response, these findings have implications for the use of SSRIs in this population. The results suggest that additional studies to examine the impact of these alleles on treatment response in African-Americans are warranted.American Journal of PharmacoGenomics 02/2003; 3(2):145-7.
Article: Variation of human amygdala response during threatening stimuli as a function of 5'HTTLPR genotype and personality style.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In the brain, processing of fearful stimuli engages the amygdala, and the variability of its activity is associated with genetic factors as well as with emotional salience. The objective of this study was to explore the relevance of personality style for variability of amygdala response. We studied two groups (n=14 in each group) of healthy subjects categorized by contrasting cognitive styles with which they attribute salience to fearful stimuli: so-called phobic prone subjects who exaggerate potential environmental threat versus so-called eating disorders prone subjects who tend to be much less centered around fear. The two groups underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3T during performance of a perceptual task of threatening stimuli and they were also matched for the genotype of the 5' variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphism in the serotonin transporter. The fMRI results indicated that phobic prone subjects selectively recruit the amygdala to a larger extent than eating disorders prone subjects. Activity in the amygdala was also independently predicted by personality style and genotype of the serotonin transporter. Moreover, brain activity during a working memory task did not differentiate the two groups. The results of the present study suggest that aspects of personality style are rooted in biological responses of the fear circuitry associated with processing of environmental information.Biological Psychiatry 07/2005; 57(12):1517-25. · 8.28 Impact Factor
Article: Effect of a triallelic functional polymorphism of the serotonin-transporter-linked promoter region on expression of serotonin transporter in the human brain.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The authors examined effects of a triallelic functional polymorphism of the human serotonin-transporter-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR) on in vivo expression of serotonin transporter in the brain in healthy volunteers and subjects with major depressive disorder. Twenty-five medication-free subjects with DSM-IV major depressive disorder during a major depressive episode and 42 healthy volunteers were clinically evaluated and genotyped. Serotonin transporter binding potential (f(1)B(max)/K(d)) was determined by using positron emission tomography with the radiotracer [(11)C]McN 5652 and metabolite-corrected arterial input functions. There was no difference in serotonin transporter binding potential by genotype in healthy volunteers or in subjects with major depressive disorder. Allelic frequencies did not differ between subjects with major depressive disorder and healthy volunteers. Associations of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism to clinical phenotypes appear to be due to developmental effects of 5-HTTLPR on expression and not due to its direct effect on serotonin transporter binding in adulthood.American Journal of Psychiatry 02/2006; 163(1):48-51. · 12.54 Impact Factor