Polymorphic regions of the estrogen receptor, androgen receptor and serotonin transporter genes and their association with mood variability in young women
Richards, Meghan A.
Master of Arts
SubjectEstrogen Receptors Psychological aspects
Serotonin Psychological aspects
Androgens Receptors Psychological aspects
MetadataShow full item record
The present study examined whether genetic polymorphisms on the estrogen receptor, androgen receptor, and serotonin transporter genes affect mood reactivity or mood variability in women. A total of 279 women from the university community completed a screening questionnaire (phase 1) for the study. During phase two, 146 women provided a buccal swab which was analyzed for Variable Number Tandem Repeat (VNTR) polymorphisms on the aforementioned genes. They also participated in an anxietyinducing task. The Positive and Negative Affect Scale Expanded (PANAS-X), the Pleasantness-Unpleasantness Scale, as well as the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) were completed prior to and following the completion of the mood induction task in order to assess mood reactivity. Mood variability was assessed in the third phase of the study where 62 women completed the PANAS and the Pleasantness-Unpleasantness Scale at eight one-hour intervals over the course of one 24-hour period. It was hypothesized that women’s mood variability, either during the laboratory mood manipulation or over the 8- hour period, would differ based on number of repeats of (1) the 17 base pair element within intron 2 of the Serotonin transporter gene (5-HTT), (2) CAG repeat numbers on the Androgen Receptor (AR) gene, or (3) number of TA repeats on the Estrogen Receptor a (ERa) gene. Women’s emotional variability did not differ significantly as a function of genotype. However, with respect to emotional reactivity, the following trends were observed: (1) a greater amount of overall mood change and PA change for the homozygous long group o f the ERa allele, (2) a greater amount of NA change for the heterozygous group o f the ERa allele, and (3) a greater amount of PA change for the 8/10-9/10 allele group of the 5-HTT gene. Additional predictors of affect are discussed.