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Neuropsychobiology. 2004;50(2):174-81.

Polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter and monoamine oxidase A genes and their relationship to personality traits measured by the Temperament and Character Inventory and NEO Five-Factor Inventory in healthy volunteers.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland.


The associations between 5-HTT-linked polymorphic region (5-HTT-LPR), monoamine oxidase A (MAOA)-LPR and the dimensions of temperament evaluated using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) were studied. One hundred healthy volunteers (without psychiatric disorders) were recruited to represent a cross-section of the population of Szczecin (Poland) in terms of sex, age and education. No associations between 5-HTT-LPR and the TCI harm avoidance dimension and between 5-HTT-LPR and the NEO-FFI neuroticism dimension were found. Males carrying the 3-VNTR MAOA gene variant (209 bp) had significantly lower values on the NEO-FFI openness dimension (p = 0.039) and obtained higher scores on the subdimension 3 of the TCI reward dependence (RD3), i.e. attachment vs. detachment (p = 0.005). Individuals carrying the 'short' variant of 5-HTT-LPR had lower values on the reward dependence dimension and the RD4 subdimension (dependence vs. independence) than individuals not carrying the 'short' variant (p = 0.039 and p = 0.011, respectively). Females carrying the 'short' variant had lower values on NS1 (exploratory excitability vs. stoic rigidity) and RD4 (dependence vs. independence) than those not carrying the variant (p = 0.042 and 0.043, respectively). The obtained level of significance with respect to the observed associations between 5-HTT-LPR and the reward dependence scales and subscales and between 5-HTT-LPR and the NS1 subscale are too weak for further interpretation. Our results do not confirm the hypothesis that there is a simple correlation between single gene polymorphisms and a personality trait measured by the TCI and NEO-FFI scales.

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