© 2015 Elsevier Inc.Serotonergic neurotransmission is thought to underlie a dynamic interrelation between different key structures of the serotonin system. The serotonin transporter (SERT), which is responsible for the reuptake of serotonin from the synaptic cleft into the neuron, as well as the serotonin-1A (5-HT1A) and -1B (5-HT1B) receptors, inhibitory auto-receptors in the raphe region and projection areas, respectively, are likely to determine serotonin release. Thereby, they are involved in the regulation of extracellular serotonin concentrations and the extent of serotonergic effects in respective projection areas. Complex receptor interactions can be assessed in vivo with positron emission tomography (PET) and single-nucleotide-polymorphisms, which are thought to alter protein expression levels. Due to the complexity of the serotonergic system, gene×gene interactions are likely to regulate transporter and receptor expression and therefore subsequently serotonergic transmission. In this context, we measured 51 healthy subjects (mean age 45.5±12.9, 38 female) with PET using [carbonyl-11C]WAY-100635 to determine 5-HT1A receptor binding potential (5-HT1A BPND). Genotyping for rs6296 (HTR1B) and 5-HTTLPR (SERT gene promoter polymorphism) was performed using DNA isolated from whole blood. Voxel-wise whole-brain ANOVA revealed a positive interaction effect of genotype groups (5-HTTLPR: LL, LS+SS and HTR1B: rs6296: CC, GC+GG) on 5-HT1A BPND with peak t-values in the bilateral parahippocampal gyrus. More specifically, highest 5-HT1A BPND was identified for individuals homozygous for both the L-allele of 5-HTTLPR and the C-allele of rs6296. This finding suggests that the interaction between two major serotonergic structures involved in serotonin release, specifically the SERT and 5-HT1B receptor, results in a modification of the inhibitory serotonergic tone mediated via 5-HT1A receptors.
- Cognitive Neuroscience