Anxiety disorders and specifically panic disorder (PD) are caused by complex interactions of environmental and genetic factors. The latter comprise many different genes, from which those involved in serotonergic neurotransmission have received particular attention. Here we report the results from an association candidate-gene approach, where we analyzed 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the gene coding for the serotonin-receptor 2A (HTR2A) in patients suffering from PD and a control sample. We found that the SNP rs2296972 shows an association between the number of T-alleles and severity of symptoms in PD. By performing tests according to the Fisher product method (FPM), an association between HTR2A and the personality trait reward dependence could be shown. Most pronounced effects were observable for the SNPs rs2770304, rs6313, and rs6311. Furthermore, the polymorphisms rs3742278, rs2296972, and rs2770292 form a haplotype, which may be associated with higher susceptibility for PD. These results further underline a possible important role of genetic variations within the system controlling serotonergic neurotransmission for the development and course of disease in PD.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.