Analysis of a functional serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism in psoriasis vulgaris

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Serotonin is a monoamine acting as a neuromediator in the central and peripheral nervous system. Recently, serotonin has also been shown to influence T- and B-cell function. The serotonin transporter is central in the regulation of the serotonergic system and widely expressed on cells of the immune system. A functional length polymorphism in the promoter of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) has been implicated in the genetic background of depression. Psoriasis is a complex disease with a polygenetic inheritance. In light of the role of T-cell mediated inflammation in psoriasis and the increased prevalence of depression in psoriatic patients, we analyzed the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism in 309 patients with psoriasis vulgaris and 315 healthy control individuals. No significant differences in genotype distribution and allele frequencies were found. There was also no difference in the score of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression in patients with psoriasis (n = 137) characterized by carriage of different 5-HTTLPR genotypes. These findings argue against a major contribution of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism to psoriasis susceptibility and the occurrence of depressive symptoms among psoriatic patients.

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