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Psychiatr Genet. 2007 Oct;17(5):253-60.

Serotonergic candidate genes and puerperal psychosis: an association study.

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  • 1Molecular Genetics Laboratory, [corrected] National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, [corrected] Bangalore, Karnataka [corrected] India.

Erratum in

  • Psychiatr Genet. 2007 Dec;17(6):360.



Altered serotonergic function is implicated in the aetiology and pathogenesis of a host of psychiatric disorders, and structural variations/polymorphisms in genes encoding the serotonin transporter and various serotonin receptor subtypes are attractive candidates to investigate the biological component underlying these disorders. Specific phenotypic subtypes, that perhaps represent homogeneous forms of the disorder, may increase the power to detect genes in complex diseases.


We investigated regulatory and functional polymorphic DNA markers of serotonergic candidate genes using a case-control approach in puerperal psychosis and bipolar affective disorder probands.


We genotyped 320 female participants (104 puerperal psychosis probands, 102 bipolar disorder participants and 114 controls) at the serotonin transporter SERT (5-HTT) 5-HTTVNTR and 5-HTTLPR locus; serotonin receptor 2A (5-HT2A)-T102C and His452Tyr loci, the serotonin receptor 2C (5-HT2C)-Cys23Ser locus, and seven unrelated Alu polymorphic markers.


We observed an association of the puerperal psychosis phenotype with the allele 10 of 5-HTTVNTR of SERT (P=0.004) and a modest association with the genotypic frequencies of the 5-HTTLPR (P=0.036). A nominal P value of 0.006 was observed with the S-10 haplotype in the PP group as compared with bipolar affective disorder probands. Significant association was observed with bipolar affective disorder phenotype with Tyr allele of the 5-HT2A His452Tyr gene polymorphism (P=0.00043) even after a conservative multiple test correction. No association was observed, however, with the 5-HT2A T102C locus, and the distribution of the other seven Alu markers did not differ between the groups.


The association between polymorphisms in serotonergic genes (SERT and 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C) suggests that these genetic factors can modulate vulnerability to puerperal psychosis in female bipolar participants.

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