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Behav Genet. 2008 Sep;38(5):476-83. doi: 10.1007/s10519-008-9219-y. Epub 2008 Jul 26.

5-HTTLPR and gender moderate changes in negative affect responses to tryptophan infusion.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Box 2969, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Expression of the serotonin transporter is affected by the genotype of the 5-HTTLPR (short and long forms) as well as the genotype of the SNP rs25531 within this region. Based on the combined genotypes for these polymorphisms, we designated each allele as a high or low expressing allele according to established expression levels-resulting in HiHi, HiLo, & LoLo genotype groups for analysis. We evaluated effects of gender and the promoter genotype on induction of negative affect by intravenous infusion of L: -tryptophan (TRP). The protocol consisted of a day-1 sham saline infusion and a day-2 active TRP infusion. Models assessed 5-HTTLPR composite genotype and gender as predictors of change in ratings of negative emotion during TRP infusion. During sham infusion there were no significant changes from baseline in mood ratings. During TRP infusion all negative affect ratings increased significantly from baseline (P's < .02). The genotype x gender interaction was a significant predictor of depression-dejection (P = .013), and trended towards predicting anger-hostility (P = .084). Males in the HiHi group had greater increases in negative affect during infusion, compared to all groups except LoLo females, who also showed increased negative affect.

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