Original scientific paper
THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN SEROTONIN TRANSPORTER POLYMORPHISM, PLATELET SEROTONIN CONCENTRATION AND INSOMNIA IN NON-DEPRESSED VETERANS WITH POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
Zrnka Kovacic Petrovic
; School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; University Psychiatric Hospital Vrapce, Zagreb, Croatia
Gordana Nedic Erjavec ; Division of Molecular Medicine, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
Matea Nikolac Perkovic ; Division of Molecular Medicine, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
Dubravka Svob Strac ; Division of Molecular Medicine, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
Tina Peraica ; Department of Psychiatry, Referral Centre for the Stress related Disorders of Ministry of Health of Croatia, University Hospital Dubrava, Zagreb, Croatia
Lucija Tudor ; Division of Molecular Medicine, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
Nela Pivac orcid.org/0000-0003-3591-4868 ; Division of Molecular Medicine, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
Background: The role of serotonin transporter and its functional gene polymorphism (5-HTTLPR, serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region) was investigated in sleep disturbances in various mental disorders, with conflicting findings. Here, the association of particular sleep disturbances with 5-HTTLPR genotypes and platelet serotonin (5 HT) concentration was determined simultaneously in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), who were subdivided into those with or without comorbid depression.
Subjects and methods: Croatian male, medication-free war veterans with PTSD (N=325), subdivided into those with or without comorbid depression, and subdivided further according to the various sleep disturbances, were evaluated using the Structured Clinical Interview, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale. Genotyping and platelet 5-HT concentration measurements were conducted using PCR and spectrofluorimetric methods, respectively.
Results: Nominally higher frequency of the 5-HTTLPR LL genotype compared to S carriers (p=0.026; ????² test) and significantly higher platelet 5-HT concentration (p=0.001; one-way ANOVA) were detected in non-depressed veterans with PTSD with early insomnia, compared to matched veterans without early insomnia.
Conclusions: Over-representation of the LL genotype of the 5-HTTLPR and higher platelet 5-HT concentrations were detected in veterans with PTSD who did not develop comorbid depression but had severe early insomnia. These results suggest that 5- HTTLPR genotypes and platelet 5-HT concentration are associated with early insomnia in non-depressed veterans with PTSD. Limitations of the study were the cross-sectional nature of the study, biallelic assessment of the 5-HTTLPR, and a lack of use of the specific sleep measurement scales. These results should be replicated in larger samples, validated on different populations, using specific sleep measurement scales and triallelic 5-HTTLPR assessment.
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