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Science. 2003 Jul 18;301(5631):386-9.

Influence of life stress on depression: moderation by a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene.

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  • 1Medical Research Council Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, PO80 De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF, UK.

Abstract

In a prospective-longitudinal study of a representative birth cohort, we tested why stressful experiences lead to depression in some people but not in others. A functional polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter (5-HT T) gene was found to moderate the influence of stressful life events on depression. Individuals with one or two copies of the short allele of the 5-HT T promoter polymorphism exhibited more depressive symptoms, diagnosable depression, and suicidality in relation to stressful life events than individuals homozygous for the long allele. This epidemiological study thus provides evidence of a gene-by-environment interaction, in which an individual's response to environmental insults is moderated by his or her genetic makeup.

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PMID:
12869766
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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