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Life events, first depression onset and the serotonin transporter gene


BACKGROUND: A relationship between the serotonin transporter gene, adverse events and onset of major depression has been reported. AIMS: To replicate a gene x environment interaction in a cohort with longitudinal data for life events, experience of depression, parental bonding and neuroticism. METHOD: At the 25-year follow-up, genomic DNA was obtained from 127 cohort members (mean age 48 years) to determine the genotype of the serotonin transporter gene-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR). Associations were investigated between the 5-HTTLPR genotype, positive and adverse life events and the gene x environment interaction, and also between the 5-HTTLPR genotype and risk factors for depression. RESULTS: No relationship was found between 5-HTTLPR genotype and either risk factors for depression or positive life events. Adverse life events had a significantly greater impact on the onset of depression for individuals with the s/s genotype. CONCLUSIONS: The 5-HTTLPR genotype is a significant predictor of onset of major depression following multiple adverse events. This is one of the more robust findings concerning specific biological risk factors for depression.

Type Journal
ISBN 0007-1250 (Print)
Authors Wilhelm, K.;Mitchell, P. B.;Niven, H.;Finch, A.;Wedgwood, L.;Scimone, A.;Blair, I. P.;Parker, G.;Schofield, P. R. :
Publisher Name British Journal Of Psychiatry
Published Date 2006-01-01
Published Volume 188
Published Pages 210-5
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version