Imaging genetics: perspectives from studies of genetically driven variation in serotonin function and corticolimbic affective processing.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Advances in molecular biology and neuroimaging have provided a unique opportunity to explore the relationships between genes, brain, and behavior. In this review, we will briefly outline the rationale for studying genetic effects on brain function with neuroimaging. We will then use studies of genetically driven variation in serotonin transporter function on corticolimbic structure and function to highlight the effectiveness of this strategy to delineate biological pathways and mechanisms by which individual differences in brain function emerge and potentially bias behavior and risk for psychiatric illness. In a series of studies, a relatively frequent regulatory variant of the human serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) has been demonstrated to bias the reactivity of the amygdala to salient environmental cues. Moreover, the 5-HTTLPR affects the development of a broader corticolimbic circuit and alters the functional integration of emotional information between the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex. In turn, corticolimbic circuit function predicts individual differences in an experimental index of temperamental anxiety and, thus, might reflect a predictive biological marker of increased risk for mood disorders associated with the 5-HTTLPR.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hariri, AR; Drabant, EM; Weinberger, DR

Published Date

  • May 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 59 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 888 - 897

PubMed ID

  • 16442081

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-2402

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-3223

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.11.005


  • eng