Several studies have implicated an insertion/deletion polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4; 5-HTT) in the development of mood disorders. In the present study of a sample of 247 young adult female twins from Missouri, we examine whether this polymorphism interacts with the effect of adverse life events to increase risk for developing depression. We found a significant interaction between the number of high-activity LA alleles and exposure to trauma (OR =1.70, P < 0.0001). This differs from previous reports, in that the higher activity genotypes (LA/LA, LA/S, LA/L G), rather than the low activity genotypes (S/S, S/LG, LG/LG), are associated with an increased incidence of major depressive disease (MDD) in the presence of environmental trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-833
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 5 2007


  • Depression
  • Functional polymorphism
  • Gene-environment interaction
  • Serotonin transporter
  • Trauma


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