The S/S Genotype of the 5-HTTLPR (Serotonin-Transporter-Linked Promoter Region) Variant of the SLC6A4 Gene Decreases the Risk of Pre-Eclampsia

J Pers Med. 2023 Oct 26;13(11):1535. doi: 10.3390/jpm13111535.


Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a disorder characterized by hypertension in the second trimester of pregnancy that results from abnormal placentation affecting fetal development and maternal health. Previous studies have shown the role of serotonin (5-HT) that leads to poor placental perfusion, where S/S and S/L polymorphisms promote the solute carrier family 6 member 4 (SLC6A4) gene associated with the risk of developing changes in the microvasculature of the placenta. This study looked at the association between the gene variant 5-HTTLPR (serotonin-transporter-linked promoter region) of the SLC6A4 gene and the occurrence of PE. A total of 200 women were included: 100 cases (pregnant with PE) and 100 controls (pregnant without complications). Genotyping of the 5-HTTLPR variant was performed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Associations between the presence of the genetic variant of interest and PE and other clinical features were evaluated statistically. The frequencies of S/S, S/L, and L/L genotypes were 32%, 53%, and 15% for the cases and 55%, 25%, and 20% in the control group. Compared to the controls, the genotype frequencies S/S vs. S/L + L/L (recessive model) in the cases group were different (p = 0.002). The S/S genotype decreased the probability of PE (OR = 0.39, 95% IC: 0.22-0.69, p = 0.002) and PE with severity criteria (OR = 0.39, 95% IC: 0.17-0.91, p = 0.045). The 5-HTTLPR gene variant of the SLC6A4 gene modifies the risk of PE development among the studied population.

Keywords: 5-HTTLPR; SLC6A4 gene; pre-eclampsia; serotonin.

Grants and funding

This research did not receive external funding.