Serotonin transporter polymorphisms and measures of impulsivity, aggression, and sensation seeking among African-American cocaine-dependent individuals.


Journal Article

Considerable evidence indicates that serotonergic mechanisms, particularly the serotonin transporter (5HTT), may mediate central effects of cocaine and may also be involved in impulsive and aggressive behavior. We investigated whether polymorphisms in the 5HTT gene were related to traits of impulsivity, sensation seeking, and aggression among cocaine abusers. Standardized measures of these personality traits were obtained in a sample of 105 severely affected cocaine-dependent African-American subjects and 44 African-American controls. Two polymorphisms of the 5HTT gene were examined involving the 5' promoter (5HTTLPR) region and a 17 base pair variable-number-tandem-repeat (VNTR) marker among cocaine patients. No significant relationships were observed between polymorphic variants of the 5HTTLPR and VNTR regions and scores on any of the trait measures. Similarly, demographic variables and measures of severity of substance use and depression were unrelated to allele frequencies or genotype distributions of the variants among cocaine patients. As expected, cocaine patients scored significantly higher on total scores of impulsivity, aggression, and sensation seeking compared to controls. The findings do not seem to support an association between these polymorphisms in the 5HTT gene and impulsive-aggressive traits among cocaine-dependent African-American individuals.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Patkar, AA; Berrettini, WH; Hoehe, M; Thornton, CC; Gottheil, E; Hill, K; Weinstein, SP

Published Date

  • June 1, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 110 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 103 - 115

PubMed ID

  • 12057823

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12057823

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0165-1781

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0165-1781(02)00098-7


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Ireland