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Am J Med Genet. 2002 May 8;114(4):361-9.

Family-based association study of 5-HTTLPR, TPH, MAO-A, and DRD4 polymorphisms in mood disorders.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Vita-Salute University, San Raffaele Institute, Milan, Italy.


Variants of the functional polymorphism in the serotonin transporter (upstream regulatory region: 5-HTTLPR), the tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), the monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A), and the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) genes have all been associated with mood disorders. The aim of this study was to test those hypotheses by using a family-based association approach. Both diagnoses and psychopathology were used for phenotype definitions. A total of 134 nuclear families with mood disorders, with probands affected by bipolar (n = 103) or major depressive (n = 58) disorders, were included in the study. All subjects were typed for the above-mentioned gene variants using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. No significant transmission disequilibrium was found in the overall sample for any polymorphism. A separate analysis of bipolar subjects only, or the use of continuous psychopathologic traits as affectation status did not influence the observed results. Our study did not support the involvement of 5-HTTLPR, TPH, MAO-A, or DRD4 polymorphisms in mood disorders.

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