The relationship between serotonin transporter gene promoter polymorphism and serum lipid levels at young age in a longitudinal population-representative study

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Dec 1;35(8):1857-62. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2011.08.004. Epub 2011 Aug 12.


The serotonin transporter gene promoter region polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) has been linked to psychiatric disorders, mostly anxiety and affective disorders. In elderly populations 5-HTTLPR polymorphism has also been reported to be associated with serum lipid levels. We have examined the interaction of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and the markers of lipid metabolism at young age in a longitudinal, population-representative cohort study. The sample of the Estonian Children Personality Behaviour and Health Study (initially cohorts of 9 and 15 year old children, complete lipid and genotype data for n=1176) was examined throughout 10 years. Subjects were genotyped and the levels of low-density lipoproteins, high-density lipoproteins, triglycerides, and total cholesterol were measured. Children and adolescents carrying the s allele of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism had lower levels of low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol. At the age of 25, the s allele carriers had higher levels of high-density lipoproteins. These associations were independent of gender. Thus the 5-HTTLPR can be associated with the serum lipid levels and in particular low-density lipoproteins already in a young age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Child
  • Estonia
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics*


  • Lipids
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins