How to Cite this Article: Terracciano A, Balaci L, Thayer J, Scally M, Kokinos S, Ferrucci L, Tanaka T, Zonderman AB, Sanna S, Olla N, Zuncheddu MA, Naitza S, Busonero F, Uda M, Schlessinger D, Abecasis GR, Costa PT Jr. 2009. Variants of the Serotonin Transporter Gene and NEO-PI-R Neuroticism: No Association in the BLSA and SardiNIA Samples. Am J Med Genet Part B 150B:1070–1077.
Article first published online: 6 FEB 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Volume 150B, Issue 8, pages 1070–1077, 5 December 2009
How to Cite
Terracciano, A., Balaci, L., Thayer, J., Scally, M., Kokinos, S., Ferrucci, L., Tanaka, T., Zonderman, A. B., Sanna, S., Olla, N., Zuncheddu, M. A., Naitza, S., Busonero, F., Uda, M., Schlessinger, D., Abecasis, G. R. and Costa, P. T. (2009), Variants of the serotonin transporter gene and NEO-PI-R Neuroticism: No association in the BLSA and SardiNIA samples. Am. J. Med. Genet., 150B: 1070–1077. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30932
Paul T. Costa Jr receives royalties from the Revised NEO Personality Inventory. The authors declare that they have no other competing interests.
- Issue published online: 26 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 6 FEB 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 JAN 2009
- Manuscript Received: 23 SEP 2008
The polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene promoter region (5-HTTLPR) is by far the most studied variant hypothesized to influence Neuroticism-related personality traits. The results of previous studies have been mixed and appear moderated by the personality questionnaire used. Studies that used the TCI to assess Harm Avoidance or the EPQ to assess Neuroticism have found no association with the 5-HTTLPR. However, studies that used the NEO-PI-R or related instruments (NEO-PI, NEO-FFI) to measure Neuroticism have found some evidence of association. This study examines the association of variants in the serotonin transporter gene in a sample from a genetically isolated population within Sardinia (Italy) that is several times larger than previous samples that used the NEO-PI-R (N = 3,913). The association was also tested in a sample (N = 548) from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), in which repeated NEO-PI-R assessments were obtained. In the SardiNIA sample, we found no significant association of the 5-HTTLPR genotypes with Neuroticism or its facets (Anxiety, Angry-Hostility, Depression, Self-Consciousness, Impulsiveness, and Vulnerability). In the BLSA sample, we found lower scores on Neuroticism traits for the heterozygous group, which is inconsistent with previous studies. We also examined eight SNPs in the SardiNIA (N = 3,972) and nine SNPs in the BLSA (N = 1,182) that map within or near the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4), and found no association. Along with other large studies that used different phenotypic measures and found no association, this study substantially increases the evidence against a link between 5-HTT variants and Neuroticism-related traits. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.