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Psychosom Med. 2001 Mar-Apr;63(2):300-5.

Central nervous system serotonin function and cardiovascular responses to stress.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA. redfordw@acpub.duke.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of indices of central nervous system (CNS) serotonin function on cardiovascular reactivity to mental stress.

METHODS:

Lumbar puncture was performed on 54 healthy volunteers to obtain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for determination of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA) levels. Genotypes were determined with respect to a functional polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene promoter region (5HTTLPR). Subjects then underwent mental stress testing.

RESULTS:

Persons with one or two long (l) 5HTTLPR alleles had CSF levels of the major serotonin metabolite, 5HIAA, that were 50% higher than those of persons with the s/s 5HTTLPR genotype. Persons with one or two l alleles or higher CSF 5HIAA levels also exhibited greater blood pressure and heart rate responses to a mental stress protocol.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest the 5HTTLPR polymorphism affects CNS serotonin function, and they are consistent with the general hypothesis that CNS serotonin function is involved in the regulation of potentially health-damaging biobehavioral characteristics. In particular, the l allele could contribute, through its association with increased cardiovascular reactivity to stress, to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

PMID:
11292279
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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