Tryptophan hydroxylase gene and major psychoses

Alessandro Serretti, Roberta Lilli, Cristina Lorenzi, Enrico Lattuada, Cristina Cusin, Enrico Smeraldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Disturbances of the serotoninergic neurotransmitter system have been implicated in the pathogenesis of mood disorders. The tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) gene, which codes for the rate-limiting enzyme of serotonin biosynthesis, has been recently reported to be associated with bipolar disorder. In this study, we investigated TPH A218C gene variants in a sample of subjects affected by major psychoses. One thousand four hundred and twenty-four inpatients affected by bipolar (n = 627), major depressive (n = 511), schizophrenic (n = 210), delusional (n = 48) disorder and psychotic disorder not otherwise specified (n = 27) (DSM-IV) were included; all patients and 380 controls were typed for the TPH variants using PCR techniques. A sub-sample of 963 patients was assessed using the Operational Criteria for Psychotic Illness (OPCRIT). TPH variants were not associated with major psychoses, but a trend was observed toward an excess of TPH*A/A in bipolar disorder. The analysis of symptomatology factors did not show any significant difference either; however, a trend was observed for males with the TPH*A genotype to have lower depressive symptoms compared with TPH*C subjects. Possible stratification factors such as current age and age of onset did not affect the observed results. TPH A218C variants are not, therefore, a major liability factor for the symptoms of major psychoses to have in the present sample. TPH*A containing variants may be a protective factor for depressive symptoms among male subjects with mood disorders or for a subtype of mood disorders characterized by a mainly manic form of symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 5 2001


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depressive disorder
  • Paranoid disorder
  • Phenotype
  • Schizophrenia
  • Symptomatology
  • Tryptophan hydroxylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)


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