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BACKGROUND: Recent evidence has suggested that the short allele of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR of the human serotonin gene [SLC6A4]) is associated with increased risk of depressive disorder but only among individuals exposed to social adversity. We report an investigation designed to replicate this finding. METHODS: Data were available from a non-clinical sample of 4,175 adult men and women, ages 41-80 years, selected from participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition in Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk, United Kingdom) study. Evidence of past-year prevalent episodic major depressive disorder (MDD), defined by restricted DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, was assessed through questionnaire. Adverse experiences in childhood and in adulthood (during the five years preceding assessment) were also assessed through self-report. The 5-HTTLPR variant was genotyped according to published protocols. RESULTS: One-year prevalent MDD criteria were met by 298 study participants. The experience of social adversity (both in childhood and adulthood) was strongly associated with increased rates of past-year prevalent MDD. No gene by environment (GxE) interactions between the 5-HTTLPR genotype, social adversity, and MDD were observed. CONCLUSIONS: This study has not replicated a previous finding of a GxE interaction between the 5-HTTLPR genotype, social adversity, and depression.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.07.014

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biol Psychiatry

Publication Date

01/02/2006

Volume

59

Pages

224 - 229

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Depressive Disorder, Major, England, Europe, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genetic Variation, Genotype, Humans, Life Change Events, Male, Middle Aged, Polymorphism, Genetic, Risk Assessment, Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins, Social Environment