Several findings suggest seasonal variations in the serotonin (5-HT) system. We sought evidence for seasonal variation in the serotonin transporter (5-HTT). We found that length of daylight time in minutes correlates negatively with 5-HTT binding in the putamen and the caudate, with a similar tendency in the thalamus, but no such association in the midbrain. In the putamen, an anatomical region with a dense serotonin innervation that is implicated in processing of aversive stimuli, we found a significant gene*daylight effect with a negative correlation between the 5-HTT binding and daylight time in carriers of the short 5-HTTLPR allele, but not in carriers of the long allele. The neurobiological endophenotype identified here directly links activation studies, showing responses on the neural circuit level, with dynamic changes in transporter expression measured in vivo.
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Kalbitzer, J., Erritzoe, D., Holst, K. et al. Seasonal changes in brain serotonin transporter binding in short 5-HTTLPR-allele carriers but not in long-allele homozygotes. Nat Prec (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/npre.2008.2259.1
- serotonin transporter
- seasonal variation