No association between obsessive-compulsive disorder and 5HTT gene

Mc Cavallini, D. Di Bella, M. Catalano, L. Martucci, L. Bellodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Antiobsessive efficacy of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) is now well proved. The serotonin transporter (5HTT) is a prime target for SRIs, thus suggesting the gene coding for 5HTT could play a role both in etiopathogenesis and pharmacological response in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A 44-bp deletion/insertion functional polymorphism within the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (5HTTLPR) leads to different transcriptional rates of 5HTT protein. We compared the distribution of 5HTT alleles and genotypes in 95 OCD patients, diagnosed according to DSM IV criteria, and 95 healthy controls: no genotypic and allelic association was found (χ2 = 0.51, d.f. = 2, P = 0.775; χ2 = 0.002, d.f. = 1, P = 0.962). These results have been confirmed using haplotype relative risk (HRR) stategy in another sample of 63 OCD patients (χ2 = 1.569, d.f. = 1, P = 0.210). Co-diagnosis of tic disorder in OCD patients or positive family history for tic or OCD did not show any role. Likewise, no association was found between five factors (i.e., hoarding, cleanliness and washing, obsessions and checking, counting, and religious and symmetry) identified by a principal component analysis according to YBOCS symptomatologic categories and 5HTT alleles and genotypes. However, when OCD samples were divided according to sex, in the HRR OCD sample we found an excess of homozygotes for the short variant among males (χ2 = 6.103, d.f. = 2, P = 0.047). Even if intriguing, the meaning of this finding should be clarified and replicated in larger samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-506
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 6 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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