Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire)

Alcohol dependence and serotonin transporter functional polymorphisms 5-HTTLPR and rs25531 in an Italian population.

PMID 25770138


The role of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) in alcohol dependence (AD) is still unclear. In this paper, we have evaluated the association of the SLC6A4 gene polymorphisms 5-HTTLPR and rs25531 in AD and assessed the polymorphic patterns both in alcoholics and in healthy people of an Italian population. Genotyping of the 5-HTTLPR (L/S) and rs25531 (A/G) polymorphisms of the SLC6A4 gene was performed on 403 alcoholics outpatients and 427 blood donors. Comparing AD and control populations and taking into account statistical correction for multiple testing, we found no statistically significant differences for 5-HTTLPR (L/S) and rs25531 polymorphisms in terms of either genotypes or alleles frequencies. By univariate ANOVA, a statistically significant difference was found in the onset of AD: the mean age of onset resulted to be of 25.4 years in males in respect to 28.1 in females. In particular in males, the early AD onset was different, in a statistically significant manner, depending on the presence of at least one S or Lg allele (24.6 years) in respect to La homozygotes (27.5 years) (P = 0.03). These findings suggest that genetic factors contribute, together with gender and age, to the onset differences in alcohol-dependent phenotypes.