Serotonin Signaling Modulates The Effects Of Familial Risk For Depression On Cortical Thickness

Bansal, Ravi; Peterson, Bradley S.; Gingrich, Jay; Hao, Xuejun; Odgerel, Zagaa; Warner, Virginia; Wickramaratne, Priya J.; Talati, Ardesheer; Ansorge, Mark; Brown, Alan S.; Sourander, Andre; Weissman, Myrna M.

Depression is a highly familial and a heritable illness that is more prevalent in the biological offspring of the depressed individuals than in the general population. In a 3-generation, 30-year, longitudinal study of individuals at either a high(HR) or a low(LR) familial risk for depression, we previously showed cortical thinning in the right hemisphere was an endophenotype for the familial risk. In this study, we assessed whether the effects of familial risk were modulated by the serotonin-transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR). We measured cortical thickness using MRI of the brain and associated it with 5-HTTLPR polymorphism in 76 HR and 53 LR individuals. We studied the effects of genotype and geneby-risk interaction on cortical thickness while controlling for the confounding effects of age and gender, and for the familial relatedness by applying a variance component model with random effects for genotype. The results showed significant effects of gene-by-risk interaction on thickness: The “s” allele was associated with thinner cortex in the LR individuals whereas with thicker cortex in the HR individuals. The opposing gene effects across the two risk groups were likely due to either epistatic effects and/or differing modulation of the neural plasticity by the altered 5-HT signaling in utero.


  • thumnail for Bansal et al. - 2016 - Serotonin signaling modulates the effects of famil.pdf Bansal et al. - 2016 - Serotonin signaling modulates the effects of famil.pdf application/pdf 1.71 MB Download File

Also Published In

Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging

More About This Work

Academic Units
Published Here
February 1, 2022