Influence of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and environmental risk factors in a Brazilian sample of patients with autism spectrum disorders.

Graduate Program in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Brain research (Impact Factor: 2.83). 04/2009; 1267:9-17. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.02.072
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The 5-HTTLPR polymorphism of serotonin transporter gene is widely investigated in association studies in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The results of such studies, however, remain controversial possibly due to the great genetic heterogeneity related to ASD and the lack of evaluation of the triallelic functional structure of 5-HTTLPR. This study tested for association between the 5-HTTLPR and ASD in a Brazilian sample by case-control and family-based association test (FBAT) methods, considering the biallelic and triallelic structures of this polymorphism. In addition, we performed an exploratory analysis of associations between specific clinical outcomes of ASD patients and 5-HTTLPR as well as several prenatal environmental factors. Genotyping was achieved in 151 ASD patients, 179 unrelated controls and 105 complete trios. There was no evidence of association between the 5-HTTLPR with ASD in both case-control and FBAT tests, but the LaLa 5-HTTLPR genotype was associated with mood instability in patients (P=0.006). The prenatal exposure to potential neuroteratogenic drugs was associated with epilepsy (P<0.001). Our findings suggest that the 5-HTTLPR is not associated with ASD in the Brazilian population, even considering the triallelic structure. Additionally, this study suggested a role of the 5-HTTLPR and environmental factors in the clinical expression of ASD.

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