Possible association of the serotonin transporter gene with alcoholism/antisocial personality

A. Parsian, C. R. Cloninger, Z. H. Zhang

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    3 Scopus citations


    The neurotransmitter serotonin has been known to play a major role in many physiological and behavioral functions. The serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene is central to fine-tuning of brain serotonergic neurotransmission and of the peripheral actions of serotonin. In order to determine the role of the 5-HTT gene in the development of alcoholism or alcoholism associated with antisocial personality, a sample of 133 alcoholic probands and 88 normal controls were screened with an insertion/deletion polymorphism in the promoter region of the gene. Comparison of total alcoholics with normal controls for allele frequencies of the polymorphism was positive (P = 0.03). However, comparing allele frequencies between alcoholics with antisocial behavior and normal controls was highly significant (P = 0.011). This group of alcoholics is also characterized with high novelty seeking and low harm avoidance behavior. These results suggest that the functional polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene, which affects the transcriptional efficiency of the gene, may have a role in the development of alcoholism associated with antisocial personality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Nov 6 1998


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