Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) appears to play a role in the pathophysiology of a range of neuropsychiatric disorders, and serotonergic agents are of central importance in neuropharmacology. Genes encoding various components of the 5-HT system are being studied as risk factors in depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, aggression, alcoholism, and autism. Recently, pharmacogenetic research has begun to examine possible genetic influences on therapeutic response to drugs affecting the serotonin system. Genes regulating the synthesis (TPH), storage (VMAT2), membrane uptake (HTT), and metabolism (MAOA) of 5-HT, as well as a number of 5-HT receptors (HTR1A, HTR1B, HTR2A, HTR2C, and HTR5A), have been studied and this initial research is reviewed here. After a brief introduction to serotonin neurobiology and a general discussion of appropriate genetic methodology, each of the major 5-HT-related genes and their encoded proteins are reviewed in turn. For each gene, relevant polymorphisms and research on functional variants are discussed; following brief reviews of the disorder or trait association and linkage studies, pharmacogenetic studies performed to date are covered. The critical and manifold roles of the serotonin system, the great abundance of targets within the system, the wide range of serotonergic agents-available and in development-and the promising preliminary results suggest that the serotonin system offers a particularly rich area for pharmacogenetic research.