The 5HTTLPR polymorphism, psychopathologic symptoms, and platelet [3H-] paroxetine binding in bulimic syndromes

Authors

  • Howard Steiger PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Eating Disorders Program, Douglas Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    3. Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • Eating Disorders Program, Douglas Hospital, 6875 LaSalle Boulevard, Montreal (Verdun), Quebec, Canada H4H 1R3
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  • Ridha Joober MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Mimi Israël MD,

    1. Eating Disorders Program, Douglas Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    3. Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Simon N. Young PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Ng Mien Kwong Ng Ying Kin PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Lise Gauvin PhD,

    1. Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Kenneth R. Bruce PhD,

    1. Eating Disorders Program, Douglas Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    3. Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Jasmine Joncas MA,

    1. Eating Disorders Program, Douglas Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Adam Torkaman-Zehi PhD

    1. Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Abstract

Background

A short (s) allele in the promoter region of the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) transporter gene (5HTTLPR) has been associated with low transcription of the 5-HT transporter protein, and with clinical manifestations including impulsivity, affective disorder, and bulimia nervosa.

Methods

We studied implications of the 5HTTLPR s allele for eating symptoms, psychopathologic traits, and platelet [3H-] paroxetine binding in 59 women with bulimia spectrum syndromes.

Results

Compared with those without it, carriers of the s allele of 5HTTLPR showed significantly more affective instability, behavioral impulsivity, interpersonal insecurity, comorbid borderline personality disorder (BPD), and lower density (Bmax) of paroxetine-binding sites.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that proneness to impulsivity, affective dysregulation, and reduced central 5-HT reuptake may (in part) be codetermined by the 5HTTLPR polymorphism. However, given inconsistent 5HTTLPR expression in different populations, we speculate that we may be observing a phenotype (i.e., eating disorder)-dependent manifestation. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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