Development of depression: sex and the interaction between environment and a promoter polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene
2006 (English)In: International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, ISSN 1461-1457, E-ISSN 1469-5111, Vol. 9, no 4, 443-449 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Previous research has demonstrated that a polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) and adverse psychosocial circumstances interact to predict depression. The purpose of the present study was to explore the extent to which sex modulates these effects. Eighty-one boys and 119 girls (16-19 years old) were interviewed about psychosocial background variables and genotyped for the 5-HTT promoter polymorphism. There were two main results. First, boys and girls carrying the short 5-HTTLPR allele react to different kinds of environmental factors. Whereas males were affected by living in public housing rather than in own owned homes and by living with separated parents, females were affected by traumatic conflicts within the family. Second, the responses of males and females carrying the short 5-HTTLPR allele to environmental stress factors go in opposite directions. Thus, whereas females tend to develop depressive symptoms, males seem to be protected from depression. The results suggest that both the molecular and the psychosocial mechanisms underlying depression may differ between boys and girls.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 9, no 4, 443-449 p.
depression, gene-environment interaction, genotype, phenotype, sex characteristics
Pharmaceutical Sciences Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-94073DOI: 10.1017/S1461145705005936ISI: 000239476100007PubMedID: 16212676OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-94073DiVA: diva2:167797