Brief Communication abstract


Nature Neuroscience 8, 20 - 21 (2004)
Published online: 12 December 2004 | doi:10.1038/nn1366

Amygdala-prefrontal coupling depends on a genetic variation of the serotonin transporter

Andreas Heinz1,6, Dieter F Braus2,6, Michael N Smolka3,6, Jana Wrase1, Imke Puls1, Derik Hermann3, Sabine Klein3, Sabine M Grüsser4, Herta Flor3, Gunter Schumann3, Karl Mann3 & Christian Büchel5

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Major depression is conditionally linked to a polymorphism of the human serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4). During the presentation of aversive, but not pleasant, pictures, healthy carriers of the SLC6A4 short (s) allele showed stronger activation of the amygdala on functional magnetic resonance imaging. s carriers also showed greater coupling between the amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which may contribute to the abnormally high activity in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex seen in major depression.

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  1. Department of Psychiatry, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Schumannstr. 20-21, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
  2. NeuroImage Nord, Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center, Martinistr. 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.
  3. Central Institute of Mental Health, J5, 68159 Mannheim, Germany.
  4. Department of Medical Psychology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Schumannstr. 20-21, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
  5. NeuroImage Nord, Department of Neurology, University Medical Center, Martinistr. 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.
  6. These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence to: Andreas Heinz1,6 e-mail: andreas.heinz@charite.de



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