Serotonin transporter polymorphism, depressive symptoms, and emotional impulsivity among advanced breast cancer patients

Youngmee Kim, Charles S Carver, Joachim F. Hallmayer, Jamie M. Zeitzer, Oxana Palesh, Eric Neri, Bita Nouriani, David Spiegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: This study tested a theory linking a marker of low serotonergic function to both depression and impulsivity in a sample of advanced breast cancer patients, among whom elevated depressive symptoms and difficulty regulating emotions are commonly reported. Methods: A total of 95 patients provided blood samples for serotonin transporter polymorphic region of the gene (5-HTTLPR) and completed questionnaires that measured depressive symptoms and emotional impulsivity. Results: Structural equation modeling revealed that the s allele of 5-HTTLPR was related to greater depressive symptoms (β = .20, p < .042) but only marginally to greater emotional impulsivity (β = .19, p < .068). Depressive symptoms and emotional impulsivity were positively related (β = .33, p < .003). Further tests explored possible mediation from genotype to one psychological variable via the other. Results suggest that depressive symptoms, particularly perceived interpersonal rejection, may be a pathway linking genotype to emotional impulsivity. Conclusions: Findings provide the first evidence that low serotonergic function contributes to both depression and impulsivity within a clinically meaningful sample. Furthermore, the link of s allele of 5-HTTLPR to emotional impulsivity was mediated by depressive symptoms, particularly perceptions of social rejection. Findings have implications for advanced breast cancer patients’ treatment decision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Oct 31 2017

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Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
Impulsive Behavior
Depression
Breast Neoplasms
Alleles
Genotype
Social Distance
Emotions
Psychology

Keywords

  • Advanced breast cancer
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Emotional impulsivity
  • Serotonin transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR)
  • Treatment decision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

Cite this

Serotonin transporter polymorphism, depressive symptoms, and emotional impulsivity among advanced breast cancer patients. / Kim, Youngmee; Carver, Charles S; Hallmayer, Joachim F.; Zeitzer, Jamie M.; Palesh, Oxana; Neri, Eric; Nouriani, Bita; Spiegel, David.

In: Supportive Care in Cancer, 31.10.2017, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kim, Youngmee ; Carver, Charles S ; Hallmayer, Joachim F. ; Zeitzer, Jamie M. ; Palesh, Oxana ; Neri, Eric ; Nouriani, Bita ; Spiegel, David. / Serotonin transporter polymorphism, depressive symptoms, and emotional impulsivity among advanced breast cancer patients. In: Supportive Care in Cancer. 2017 ; pp. 1-8.
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