Serotonergic genes and amygdala activity in response to negative affective facial stimuli in Korean women

B. T. Lee, B. J. Ham

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Serotonergic genes have been implicated in mood disorders, alcoholism and certain personality traits. We investigated the possible relationship between several polymorphisms in the serotonin (5-HT) system and amygdala responses to negative facial stimuli in Korean women using functional magnetic resonance imaging. All participants were genotyped with regard to the following polymorphisms: the serotonin transporter-gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR), tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) G(-703)T, 5-HT1A C(-1019)G and 5-HT2A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs6311. We found increased activations in response to angry facial stimuli in the bilateral amygdala of subjects with the long allele of 5-HTTLPR compared with those with two copies of the short allele. Higher activations in response to sad facial stimuli were found in the bilateral amygdala of subjects with the T/T genotype of 5-HT2A SNP rs6311, compared with C allele carriers, and in subjects with the G/G genotype of TPH2 G(-703)T, compared with those with T/T and G/T genotypes. Our results for individuals from an Asian population countered a previous finding for a Caucasian population and identified the moderating role of genetic background in the relationships between these serotonergic gene polymorphisms and amygdala function elicited by negative emotional stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-905
Number of pages7
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Amygdala
  • Emotion
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Gene
  • Polymorphism
  • Serotonergic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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