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Brain Res. 2006 May 30;1092(1):28-35. Epub 2006 May 3.

Serotonin transporter promoter variants: Analysis in Indian autistic and control population.

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Manovikas Biomedical Research and Diagnostic Centre, 482 Madudah, Plot I-24, Sector-J, EM Bypass, Kolkata 700 107, India.


Serotonin transporter (5-HTT) is a transmembrane protein belonging to Na+/Cl- dependent membrane transporter family and transports 5-HT across the membranes of presynaptic neurons. 5-HTT-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) gained much interest because of the differential regulation of expression and activity of 5-HTT by its various genotypes. A population-based study has been conducted on 5-HTTLPR with 358 individuals, which included 79 autistic probands, 136 parents, and 143 controls from two subpopulations of east and northeast regions of India. The genotypic frequencies of all the groups conform to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. With the finding of efficacy of serotonin reuptake inhibitors in ameliorating ritualistic behavior in autistic disorder, 5-HTT emerged as a putative candidate gene for autism and association studies have been carried out in different ethnic populations. But these studies were inconclusive due to conflicting results on association. Because such a study has never been performed in the Indian population, we have tested the possible involvement of 5-HTTLPR polymorphism with autism. The present study failed to establish any association or linkage of 5-HTTLPR with autism in the Indian population by case-control studies (chi2 = 1.314, P = 0.63) and family-based approaches (TDT chi2 = 0.22, P = 0.64 and HHRR-chi2 = 0.25, P = 0.61). However, when a meta-analysis of all the available TDT data, inclusive of the present study is carried out, we observed a significant preferential transmission of S-allele from parents to the affected offspring (chi2 = 7.51, P = 0.006) indicating an association of 5-HTTLPR with autism.

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