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Acta Paediatr. 2008 Jul;97(7):861-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.00813.x. Epub 2008 May 12.

Serotonin transporter gene variation in sudden infant death syndrome.

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Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Oslo, Pathology Clinic, Rikshospitalet University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



To investigate polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene in cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and controls, and further to elucidate a possible relationship between 5-HTT genotypes and external risk factors for SIDS.


The subjects investigated consist of 163 SIDS cases and 243 controls. Polymorphisms in both the promoter and intron 2 of the 5-HTT gene were investigated, and the genotypes were determined using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis.


In the promoter, there was a tendency for the L allele and L/L genotype to be found more often in the SIDS cases than in the controls (p=0.05 and p=0.07, respectively). Regarding the intron 2 polymorphism, there were no differences between the groups, and the SIDS cases were not found to have a higher frequency of either the L/L-12/12 genotype or the L-12 haplotype than the controls. When investigating possible correlations between genotype and risk factors for SIDS, there was a tendency towards different distribution of the promoter genotypes in cases found dead prone compared to cases found dead in other sleeping positions (p=0.06).


Polymorphisms in the promoter of the 5-HTT gene may be of importance with regard to SIDS.

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