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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