Seasonal Changes in Brain Serotonin Transporter Binding in Short Serotonin Transporter Linked Polymorphic Region-Allele Carriers but Not in Long-Allele Homozygotes

Jan Kalbitzer, David Erritzøe, Klaus K. Holst, Finn Årup Nielsen, Lisbeth Marner, Szabolcs Lehel, Tine Arentzen, Terry L. Jernigan, Gitte Moos Knudsen

AbstractBackground

A polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) has been associated with seasonality both in patients with seasonal affective disorder and in the general population.

Method

We used in vivo molecular imaging to measure cerebral serotonin transporter (5-HTT) binding in 57 healthy Scandinavians and related the outcome to season of the year and to the 5-HTTLPR carrier status.

Results

We found that the number of daylight minutes at the time of scanning correlated negatively with 5-HTT binding in the putamen and the caudate, with a similar tendency in the thalamus, whereas this association was not observed for the midbrain. Furthermore, in the putamen, an anatomic region with relatively dense serotonin innervation, we found a significant gene × daylight effect, such that there was a negative correlation between 5-HTT binding and daylight minutes in carriers of the short 5-HTTLPR allele but not in homozygote carriers of the long allele.

Conclusions

Our findings are in line with S-carriers having an increased response in neural circuits involved in emotional processing to stressful environmental stimuli but here demonstrated as a endophenotype with dynamic changes in serotonin reuptake.
KeywordsMolecular neuroimaging, positron emission tomography
TypeJournal paper [With referee]
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Year2010    Vol. 67    No. 11    pp. 1033-1039
Publication linkhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.11.027
BibTeX data [bibtex]
IMM Group(s)Intelligent Signal Processing


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