Anxiety-related Endophenotypes and Hazardous Alcohol Use in Young Adults are Associated with a Functional Polymorphism in the SLC6A4 Gene
Karen M. Jiménez1, Angela J. Pereira-Morales1, Ana Adan2, 3, Sandra Lopez-Leon4, Diego A. Forero1, 5, 6, *
1 Laboratory of NeuroPsychiatric Genetics, Biomedical Sciences Research Group, School of Medicine, Universidad Antonio Nariño, Bogotá, Colombia
2 Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
3 Institute of Neurosciences, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
4 Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, One Health Plaza, East Hanover, NJ, 07936-1080, USA
5 School of Medicine, Universidad Antonio Nariño, Bogotá, Colombia
6 Laboratory of NeuroPsychiatric Genetics, School of Medicine, Universidad Antonio Nariño, 110231, Bogotá, Colombia
A functional polymorphism (5-HTTLPR, rs4795541) in the serotonin transporter (SLC6A4) gene has been shown as an important candidate for several psychiatric and behavioral traits.
The objective of this study was to examine the possible interaction of this polymorphism with physical neglect in childhood on the presentation of anxiety traits and hazardous alcohol consumption in young Colombian subjects.
272 young adults (mean age: 21.3 years) were evaluated with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Zung Self-rating Anxiety Scale, the Big Five Inventory, the Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale, the Alcohol, Smoking, Substance Involvement Screening Test and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Genotyping for the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism was carried out using conventional PCR. A linear regression model, corrected by age and gender, was used.
We found that individuals with the L/L genotype showed higher scores on physical neglect (p=0.0047), anxiety symptoms (p=0.028), neuroticism (p=0.019) and perceived stress (p=0.035). L/L genotype was a risk factor for hazardous alcohol use in young adults (OR=3.06, p=0.0003). No GxE interactions were observed in our data.
Our results provide novel evidence for the role of a functional polymorphism in the SLC6A4 gene on the relationship of childhood trauma, anxiety-related traits and risky consumption of alcohol.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Laboratory of NeuroPsychiatric Genetics, School of Medicine, Universidad Antonio Nariño, 110231, Bogotá, Colombia; Tel: +57 313 610427; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org