The short (S) allele of the serotonin transporter polymorphism and acute tryptophan depletion both increase impulsivity in men

Espen Walderhaug, Aryeh Isaac Herman, Andres Magnusson, Michael John Morgan, Nils Inge Landrø

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Reduced serotonergic neurotransmission is implicated in impulsive behavior. We studied the triallelic system of the serotonin transporter gene linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) and acute manipulation of serotonin together to further delineate the mechanisms by which serotonergic neurotransmission affects impulsivity. Fifty-two healthy participants (38 men and 14 women) underwent acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) or placebo in a randomized, double-blind, parallel group experiment. Impulsive response style was measured on two versions of the Continuous Performance Task (CPT), and calculated using signal detection theory. We observed a dose-dependent effect for the short (S') allele of the 5-HTTLPR on impulsive response style. Individuals who had the S'/S' genotype were more impulsive than individuals with the L/S' genotype. Participants with the L/S' genotype were more impulsive than those with the L/L genotype. ATD increased impulsivity in men, and decreased impulsivity in women. These data demonstrate for the first time that reduced serotonergic tone as a result of either 5-HTTLPR genotype, or experimental ATD, are both independently and additively, associated with elevated impulsive response style in Caucasian men.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroscience Letters
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010

Other keywords

  • Genetics
  • Serotonin
  • Tryptophan
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Male
  • PubMed in Process

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