Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Association of 5-HTT gene polymorphism, platelet MAO activity, and drive for thinness in a population-based sample of adolescent girls.

Akkermann K, Paaver M, Nordquist N, Oreland L, Harro J


OBJECTIVE Several lines of evidence suggest that alterations in serotonergic activity contribute to the pathophysiology of abnormal eating behaviors. Since platelet monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity and the 5-HT transporter gene promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) have been associated with eating disorders, the knowledge from a population-based sample may provide useful information which changes in 5-HT function observed in eating disorders represent trait vs. state effects. METHOD The sample was based on both cohorts of the Estonian Children Personality, Behavior and Health Study (ECPBHS). The current study was conducted during the second follow-up where altogether 82% from the original sample was recruited. EDI-2 subscales--Drive for Thinness and Bulimia--were used to determine eating attitudes and behaviors. Platelet MAO activity was measured and the participants were genotyped for the 5-HTTLPR. RESULTS Allelic variation of 5-HTTLPR or platelet MAO activity were not independently associated with drive for thinness or binge eating, but girls homozygous for the 5-HTTLPR long allele and with high platelet MAO activity, both considered indicators of a higher capacity 5-HT system, exhibited higher scores of drive for thinness. CONCLUSION The results suggest that drive for thinness is the highest in girls with the presence of two markers of higher serotonergic capacity.

Published in

International Journal of Eating Disorders
2008, Volume: 41, number: 5, pages: 399-404
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Medical Genetics

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)