Meta-analysis of the association of a functional serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism with alcohol dependence

Department of Psychiatry, Alcohol Research Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut 06030-2103, USA.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics (Impact Factor: 3.27). 02/2005; 133B(1):79-84. DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30132
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) has been shown to regulate alcohol consumption in both animals and humans. Since activity of the 5-HT transporter protein (5-HTT) regulates 5-HT levels, the gene encoding this protein may contribute to the risk of alcohol dependence (AD). Studies of the association to AD of a functional insertion-deletion polymorphism in the 5-HTT-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR) have yielded inconsistent results. We conducted a meta-analysis of data from 17 published studies (including 3,489 alcoholics and 2,325 controls) investigating the association between 5-HTTLPR alleles and AD. The frequency of the short (S) allele at 5-HTTLPR was significantly associated with AD [odds ratio (OR) = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.03-1.33). Moreover, a greater association with the S allele was seen among individuals with AD complicated by either a co-morbid psychiatric condition or an early-onset or more severe AD subtype [OR = 1.34 (95% CI = 1.11-1.63)]. Allelic variation at 5-HTTLPR contributes to risk for AD, with the greatest effect observed among individuals with a co-occurring clinical feature.

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    ABSTRACT: The results of some studies suggest that the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) short (S) allele, relative to the long (L) allele, is associated with risk for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and thus serves as a biomarker for MDD, while results from other studies do not support that conclusion. Persons with an S allele demonstrate a 2- to 2.5 fold decrease in serotonin transcription rate compared to the L-allele, which may increase their risk for MDD. Differences in study populations may help explain the differences in findings between those meta-analyses. To date, there have been no published reports which have addressed the possible association between the S allele and MDD among military veterans. This manuscript describes a first study to assess the possible association of the S allele with MDD among a study population of veterans in treatment for a substance use disorder. We hypothesized that the S allele would be associated with MDD in our study sample. Subjects signing informed consent were 101 Veterans recruited from VA behavioral health and substance use treatment clinics in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, and 91 of those subjects were genotyped for 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms. The study sample from whom genetic material was collected included 82 males and 9 females, of whom 53 were white, 38 were black, and one was "other". Fifty-four members of the study sample (59%) met DSM-IV criteria for an MDD on the SCID. Forty-five of the subjects demonstrated one or two S alleles, while 46 did not do so. The presence of the S allele of the serotonin transporter was not found to be significantly associated with the diagnosis of major depressive disorder in our sample (Chi-square=0.1.63, df=1, p=0.199). That finding, in combination with other recent negative findings from other researchers involving non-veterans, raises questions regarding the clinical utility of utilizing genetics tests involving the assessment of the alleles of the serotonin transporter as a possible biomarker for MDD.
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    ABSTRACT: The role of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) in alcohol dependence (AD) is still unclear. In this paper, we have evaluated the association of the SLC6A4 gene polymorphisms 5-HTTLPR and rs25531 in AD and assessed the polymorphic patterns both in alcoholics and in healthy people of an Italian population. Genotyping of the 5-HTTLPR (L/S) and rs25531 (A/G) polymorphisms of the SLC6A4 gene was performed on 403 alcoholics outpatients and 427 blood donors. Comparing AD and control populations and taking into account statistical correction for multiple testing, we found no statistically significant differences for 5-HTTLPR (L/S) and rs25531 polymorphisms in terms of either genotypes or alleles frequencies. By univariate ANOVA, a statistically significant difference was found in the onset of AD: the mean age of onset resulted to be of 25.4 years in males in respect to 28.1 in females. In particular in males, the early AD onset was different, in a statistically significant manner, depending on the presence of at least one S or Lg allele (24.6 years) in respect to La homozygotes (27.5 years) (P = 0.03). These findings suggest that genetic factors contribute, together with gender and age, to the onset differences in alcohol-dependent phenotypes. © The Author 2015. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
    Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire). Supplement 03/2015; DOI:10.1093/alcalc/agv014
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    ABSTRACT: Alcoholism arises from combined effects of multiple biological factors including genetic and non-genetic causes with gene/environmental interaction. Intensive research and advanced genetic technology has generated a long list of genes and biomarkers involved in alcoholism neuropathology. These markers reflect complex overlapping and competing effects of possibly hundreds of genes which impact brain structure, function, biochemical alcohol processing, sensitivity and risk for dependence. We compiled a tabular list of clinically relevant genetic biomarkers for alcoholism targeting expression disturbances in human brain through an extensive search of key words related to alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and genetics from peer reviewed medical research articles and related nationally sponsored web sites. Gene symbols were then placed on high resolution human chromosome ideograms with gene descriptions in tabular form. We identified 337 clinically relevant genetic biomarkers and candidate genes for alcoholism and alcohol-responsiveness from human brain research. Genetic biomarkers included neurotransmitter pathways associated with brain reward processes for dopaminergic (e.g., DRD2, MAOA, and COMT), serotoninergic (e.g., HTR3A, HTR1B, HTR3B, and SLC6A4), GABAergic (e.g., GABRA1, GABRA2, and GABRG1), glutaminergic (GAD1, GRIK3, and GRIN2C) and opioid (e.g., OPRM1, OPRD1, and OPRK1) pathways which presumably impact reinforcing properties of alcohol. Gene level disturbances in cellular and molecular networks impacted by alcohol and alcoholism pathology include transketolase (TKT), transferrin (TF), and myelin (e.g., MBP, MOBP, and MOG). High resolution chromosome ideograms provide investigators, physicians, geneticists and counselors a convenient visual image of the distribution of alcoholism genetic biomarkers from brain research with alphabetical listing of genes in tabular form allowing comparison between alcoholism-related phenotypes, and clinically-relevant alcoholism gene(s) at the chromosome band level to guide research, diagnosis, and treatment. Chromosome ideograms may facilitate gene-based personalized counseling of alcohol dependent individuals and their families. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Gene 02/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.gene.2015.01.064 · 2.08 Impact Factor