Endocrine and genetic moderation of serotonin systems and the psychopathology of affective disorders

Mark D. Tricklebank, Eileen Daly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have taught us much about the pathophysiology of depression particularly about the impact that polymorphisms in the transporter gene seemed to have on susceptibility to depression have that seemed to explain the association between early life trauma and subsequent development of depression. Neuroimaging studies lent strong support for this hypothesis: finding a strong amplification of the activation of the amygdala in response to anger or fear-provoking stimuli in healthy short (S) allele carriers compared to those carrying the long (L) allele. Preclinical studies using transgenic animals carrying the S or L alleles, exposed to an SSRI in early life, suggested that amygdaloid reactivity is developmentally determined. The story is yet more complicated as further studies have identified a further 10 polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter whose functional consequences and interaction with environmental events are currently unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Serotonin System
Subtitle of host publicationHistory, Neuropharmacology, and Pathology
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780128133231
ISBN (Print)9780128133248
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Polymorphisms adrenal-pituitary axis
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
  • Serotonin transporter gene


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