Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2016 Feb;14(1):88-95. 10.9758/cpn.2016.14.1.88.

Association between the 5-HTTLPR Genotype and Childhood Characteristics in Mood Disorders

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Eulji General Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 4Department of Neuropsychiatry, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Dongguk University School of Medicine, Goyang, Korea.
  • 5Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 7Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 8Department of Psychiatry, Keyo Hospital, Uiwang, Korea.


The features of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are significantly associated with adult mood disorders. Some genetic factors may be common to both ADHD and mood disorders underlie the association between these two phenotypes. The present study aimed to determine whether a genetic role may be played by the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) in the childhood ADHD features of adult patients with mood disorders.
The present study included 232 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), 154 patients with bipolar disorder (BPD), and 1,288 normal controls. Childhood ADHD features were assessed with the Korean version of the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS-K). The total score and the scores of three factors (impulsivity, inattention, and mood instability) from the WURS-K were analyzed to determine whether they were associated with the 5-HTTLPR genotype.
In the BPD type II group, the 5-HTTLPR genotype was significantly associated with the total score (p=0.029) and the impulsivity factor (p=0.004) on the WURS-K. However, the inattention and mood instability factors were not associated with the 5-HTTLPR genotype. BPD type I, MDD and normal control groups did not exhibit any significant associations between the WURS-K scores and the 5-HTTLPR genotype.
The findings suggest that the 5-HTTLPR genotype may play a role in the impulsivity component of childhood ADHD in patients with BPD type II. Because of a small sample size and a single candidate gene, further studies investigating other candidate genes using a larger sample are warranted to determine any common genetic links.


5-HTTLPR; Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; Childhood; Impulsivity; Mood disorders; Wender Utah Rating Scale
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