Serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms are associated with anxiety-related personality traits in women

Am J Med Genet. 2001 Jul 8;105(5):458-63. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.1434.


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).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Anxiety / genetics
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / genetics
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Cohort Studies
  • DNA / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Personality Assessment
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • SLC6A4 protein, human
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • DNA