The serotonin transporter (HTT) is a candidate gene for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that has been associated with anxiety-related traits. The long (l) and short (s) variants of the HTT promoter have different transcriptional efficiencies. HTT promoter genotype and blood 5-HT concentration were examined in 70 subjects from 20 families ascertained through children and adolescents with a DSM-III-R diagnosis of OCD. The HTT promoter variant had a significant effect on blood 5-HT content. Subjects with the l/l and l/s genotypes had significantly higher blood 5-HT levels than did those with the s/s genotype. There was a significant interaction between HTT promoter genotype and seasonal variation in blood 5-HT content, with significant seasonal differences in 5-HT occurring only in the subjects with the l/l genotype. Further studies of the regulation of HTT gene expression are indicated.
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