Mixed evidence has suggested that homozygous carriers of the short allele (s/s) of the serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) may be at increased risk for depression, if they have also been exposed to early or current adversity/stress. We address this debate by examining the relation of a stressful early family environment, recent adversity/stress, and the 5-HTTLPR to depressive symptomatology in a normal sample.
A nonclinical sample of 118 young adult men and women completed assessments of early family environment, recent stressful events, psychosocial resources, and psychological distress, including depressive symptomatology. The 5-HTTLPR was genotyped using a standard protocol with DNA extracted from oral fluid.
A stressful early family environment was significantly related to depressive symptomatology. In addition, gene-by-environment (G×E) interactions were observed between the 5-HTTLPR and both early family environment and current adversity/stress. Individuals homozygous for the short allele had greater depressive symptomatology if they had experienced early or recent adversity but significantly less depressive symptomatology if they reported a supportive early environment or recent positive experiences, compared with participants with the s/l or l/l genotype.
Early or current environment, in conjunction with the serotonin transporter polymorphism, predicts depressive symptomatology.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Biological Psychiatry
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- An inventory for measuring depression.Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961; 4: 561-571
- Influence of life stress on depression: Moderation by a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene.Science. 2003; 301: 386-389
- Gene-environment interaction analysis of serotonin system markers with adolescent depression.Mol Psychiatry. 2004; 9: 908-915
- Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults.Am J Prev Med. 1998; 14: 245-258
- Serotonin transporter protein (SLC6A4) allele and haplotype frequencies and linkage disequilibria in African- and European-American and Japanese populations and in alcohol-dependent subjects.Hum Genet. 1997; 101: 243-246
- The relationship between stressful life events, the serotonin (5-HTTLPR) genotype and major depression.Psychol Med. 2005; 35: 101-111
- Glucocorticoid-regulated human serotonin transporter (5-HTT) expression is modulated by the 5-HTT gene-promotor-linked polymorphic region.Neurochemistry. 2003; 86: 1072-1078
- A broad-bandwidth, public-domain, personality inventory measuring the lower-level facets of several five-factor models.Personality Psychol Europe. 1999; 7: 7-28
- Mental and physical distress is modulated by a polymorphism in the 5-HT transporter gene interacting with social stressors and chronic disease burden.Mol Psychiatry. 2005; 10: 220-234
- Social supports and serotonin transporter gene moderate depression in maltreated children.Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2004; 101: 17316-17321
- The interaction of stressful life events and a serotonin transporter polymorphism in the prediction of episodes of major depression.Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005; 62: 529-535
- The mathematical modeling of human culture and its implications for psychology and the human sciences.Br J Psychol. 1993; 84: 145-169
- Relation of childhood socioeconomic status and family environment to adult metabolic functioning in the CARDIA study.Psychosom Med. 2005; 67: 846-854
- Association of anxiety-related traits with a polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene regulatory region.Science. 1996; 274: 1527-1531
- Socio-economic status covaries with central nervous system serotonergic responsivity as a function of allelic variation in the serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphic region.Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2004; 29: 651-668
- Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation.Psychol Rev. 1991; 98: 224-253
- The structure of coping.Health Soc Behav. 1978; 19: 2-21
- Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ1965
- Optimism, coping, and health: assessment and implications of generalized outcome expectancies.Health Psych. 1985; 4: 219-247
- Supportive interactions, negative interactions and depressed mood.Am J Community Psychol. 1990; 18: 423-438
- Manual for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA1970
- Attachment in rhesus monkeys.in: Cassidy J. Shaver P. Handbook of Attachment: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications. Guilford Press, New York1999
- Social adversity, the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) polymorphism and major depressive disorder.Biol Psychiatry. 2006; 59: 224-229
- Are self-enhancing cognitions associated with healthy or unhealthy biological profiles?.J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003; 85: 605-615
- Early environment, emotions, responses to stress, and health.J Pers. 2004; 72: 1365-1393
- Life events, first depression onset and the serotonin transporter gene.Br J Psychiatry. 2006; 188: 210-215
Published online: August 25, 2006
Accepted: April 25, 2006
Received in revised form: April 24, 2006
Received: January 4, 2006
© 2006 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.