Posts Tagged ‘SERT’
About 30% of autistics have elevated serotonin levels, and autism has been linked to polymorphisms in SERT – a serotonin transporter. Chris sent me this great link the other day:
Many children with autism have elevated blood levels of serotonin – a chemical with strong links to mood and anxiety. But what relevance this “hyperserotonemia” has for autism has remained a mystery.
New research by Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators provides a physical basis for this phenomenon, which may have profound implications for the origin of some autism-associated deficits.
In an advance online publication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Ana Carneiro, Ph.D., and colleagues report that a well-known protein found in blood platelets, integrin beta3, physically associates with and regulates the serotonin transporter (SERT), a protein that controls serotonin availability.
Autism, a prevalent childhood disorder, involves deficits in language, social communication and prominent rigid-compulsive traits. Serotonin has long been suspected to play a role in autism since elevated blood serotonin and genetic variations in the SERT have been linked to autism. Sticky blood protein yields clues to autism
I love the way the science reporter thinks the link between elevated serotonin and autism is a mystery. He doesn’t know that serotonin has a powerful influence on shyness versus sociability.
The relationship of SERT with integrin beta3 is a good demonstration of how the same effects (in this case high serotonin) can be caused by several different genes.
Wait – wait… nope… still nothing to do with mercury.