Effects of environmental stress and gender on associations among symptoms of depression and the serotonin transporter gene linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR).

Published

Journal Article

The short (s) variant of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene linked functional polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) is associated with depression. Stressful life events, gender, and race have been shown to moderate this association. We examined the relationship between 5-HTTLPR genotype and symptoms of depression in two samples. Study 1 = 288 participants from a study of caregiver stress; and Study 2 = 142 participants from a study examining psychosocial stressors, genetics, and health. Main effects of 5-HTTLPR on symptoms of depression were examined, along with moderation by stress (caregiving status or low childhood socioeconomic status (SES), gender, and race. The 5-HTTLPR x stress group x gender interaction was significant in both samples (P < 0.003, and P < 0.008, respectively). For females, the s allele, combined with caregiving stress (Study 1) or low childhood SES (Study 2), was associated with higher depression scores as compared to participants in the non-stressor group and those with the long (l) allele; whereas, in males, the l allele, combined with a stressor, was associated with higher depression scores as compared to those in the non-stressor group and those with the s allele. Findings from two independent samples suggest that the association of 5-HTTLPR with depression varies according to gender and stressful life events.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brummett, BH; Boyle, SH; Siegler, IC; Kuhn, CM; Ashley-Koch, A; Jonassaint, CR; Züchner, S; Collins, A; Williams, RB

Published Date

  • January 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 38 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 34 - 43

PubMed ID

  • 17955359

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17955359

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-3297

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0001-8244

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10519-007-9172-1

Language

  • eng