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Keywords:

  • serotonin transporter;
  • polymorphism;
  • association study;
  • anxiety;
  • personality;
  • Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP)

Abstract

Several studies have reported an association between anxiety-related personality traits and a promoter polymorphism in the human serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene (5-HTT gene-linked polymorphic region, 5-HTTLPR). In the present study, a population of 251 subjects was assessed with the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP) and genotyped both for the 5-HTTLPR and for a variable number of tandem repeats polymorphism in the second intron of the same gene. The interpretation of previous studies has to some extent been confounded by the studied subjects differing with respect to ethnicity, sex, and age. To circumvent this problem, all included subjects were Caucasians, women, and born in the same year (1956). Associations were found between the 5-HTTLPR and four of the five anxiety-related KSP scales (psychic anxiety, muscular tension, psychasthenia, and lack of assertiveness), subjects being homozygous for the short allele displaying higher anxiety scores than those of the long/long or long/short genotype. In addition, an association was found between the intron 2 polymorphism and one anxiety-related personality trait (somatic anxiety). © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.