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Mol Psychiatry. 2005 Oct;10(10):928-38, 891.

Meta-analysis reveals association between serotonin transporter gene STin2 VNTR polymorphism and schizophrenia.

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Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Center for Human Genetics Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA 02129, and Program in Medical and Population Genetics, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.


The serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) is a candidate gene for schizophrenia based on serotonin transporter's crucial role in serotonergic neurotransmission. However, association studies have produced conflicting results regarding the association between two common SLC6A4 gene polymorphisms, the promoter insertion/deletion (5-HTTLPR) and the intron 2 VNTR (STin2 VNTR) polymorphisms, and schizophrenia susceptibility. To further elucidate the putative association between the two SLC6A4 gene polymorphisms and schizophrenia susceptibility, we performed a meta-analysis based on all original published association studies between schizophrenia and the 5-HTTLPR and STin2 VNTR polymorphisms published before April 2004. Our analyses showed no statistically significant evidence for the association between the Short allele of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and schizophrenia (random-effects pooled odds ratio (OR)=0.99, 95% Confidence Interval (CI)=0.92-1.07, Z=-0.23, P=0.82) from 19 population-based association studies consisting of 2990 case and 3875 control subjects. However, highly significant evidence for association between the STin2.12 allele of the STin2 VNTR polymorphism (random-effects pooled OR=1.24, 95% CI=1.11-1.38, Z=3.82, P=0.00014) and schizophrenia was found from 12 population-based association studies consisting of 2177 cases and 2369 control subjects. Our meta-analysis suggests that the STin2.12 allele of the STin2 VNTR polymorphism is likely a risk factor for schizophrenia susceptibility. Our data imply that following completion of the International HapMap Project, a comprehensive evaluation of a set of markers that fully characterize the linkage disequilibrium relationships at the SLC6A4 gene should be tested in large well-characterized clinical samples in order to understand the role of this gene in schizophrenia susceptibility.

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