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Variants of the Serotonin Transporter Gene and NEO-PI-R Neuroticism

Title: Variants of the Serotonin Transporter Gene and NEO-PI-R Neuroticism: No Association in the BLSA and SardiNIA Samples.
Name(s): Terracciano, Antonio, author
Balaci, Lenuta, author
Thayer, Jason, author
Scally, Matthew, author
Kokinos, Sarah, author
Ferrucci, Luigi, author
Tanaka, Toshiko, author
Zonderman, Alan, author
Sanna, Serena, author
Olla, Nazario, author
Zuncheddu, Maria, author
Naitza, Silvia, author
Busonero, Fabio, author
Uda, Manuela, author
Schlessinger, David, author
Abecasis, Gonçalo, author
Costa, Paul, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: serial
Date Issued: 2009
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene promoter region (5-HTTLPR) is by far the most studied variant hypothesized to influence Neuroticism-related personality traits. The results of previous studies have been mixed and appear moderated by the personality questionnaire used. Studies that used the TCI to assess Harm Avoidance or the EPQ to assess Neuroticism have found no association with the 5-HTTLPR. However, studies that used the NEO-PI-R or related instruments (NEO-PI, NEO-FFI) to measure Neuroticism have found some evidence of association. This study examines the association of variants in the serotonin transporter gene in a sample from a genetically isolated population within Sardinia (Italy) that is several times larger than previous samples that used the NEO-PI-R (N = 3,913). The association was also tested in a sample (N = 548) from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), in which repeated NEO-PI-R assessments were obtained. In the SardiNIA sample, we found no significant association of the 5-HTTLPR genotypes with Neuroticism or its facets (Anxiety, Angry-Hostility, Depression, Self-Consciousness, Impulsiveness, and Vulnerability). In the BLSA sample, we found lower scores on Neuroticism traits for the heterozygous group, which is inconsistent with previous studies. We also examined eight SNPs in the SardiNIA (N = 3,972) and nine SNPs in the BLSA (N = 1,182) that map within or near the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4), and found no association. Along with other large studies that used different phenotypic measures and found no association, this study substantially increases the evidence against a link between 5-HTT variants and Neuroticism-related traits.
Identifier: FSU_migr_geriatrics_faculty_publications-0022 (IID), 10.1002/ajmg.b.30932 (DOI)
Keywords: personality, depression, anxiety, 5-HTT, GWA, polymorphism, single nucleotide, serotonin plasma membrane transport proteins
Uncontrolled subjects: Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anxiety Disorders, Depressive Disorder, Female, Genetic Association Studies, Humans, Italy, Male, Middle Aged, Neurotic Disorders, Polymorphism, Genetic, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins, Young Adult
Note: Published in final edited form as:'>"> Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2009 December 5; 150B(8): 1070–1077. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30932'>">10.1002/ajmg.b.30932
Citation: Terracciano A, Balaci L, Thayer J, Scally M, Kokinos S, Ferrucci L, Tanaka T, Zonderman AB, Sanna S, Olla N, Zuncheddu MA, Naitza S, Busonero F, Uda M, Schlessinger D, Abecasis GR, & Costa PT Jr. (2009). Variants of the serotonin transporter gene and NEO-PI-R Neuroticism: No association in the BLSA and SardiNIA samples. American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 150B, 1070-1077.
Subject(s): Human behavior
Medical sciences
Mental health
Social psychiatry
Mental illness
Social aspects
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part of Series: Department of Geriatrics Faculty Publications.
Is Part Of: American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics.
Issue: 8, 150B

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Terracciano, A., Balaci, L., Thayer, J., Scally, M., Kokinos, S., Ferrucci, L., … Costa, P. (2009). Variants of the Serotonin Transporter Gene and NEO-PI-R Neuroticism: No Association in the BLSA and SardiNIA Samples. American Journal Of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics. Retrieved from