Recently, there has been growing enthusiasm for exploring biological approaches to personality, especially in the area of genetic research into the identification of those genes responsible for particular personality traits. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the serotonin transporter-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR) polymorphism and personality traits. We recruited 211 unrelated, normal subjects. The Korean version of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) was used to assess certain personality traits. From blood samples taken from the subjects, DNA was isolated using standard techniques and the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism was genotyped by means of polymerase chain reaction and electrophoresis. We classified the subject into the s/s, s/l, and l/l groups according to their genotype. The differences in the temperament factors of the TCI between group S (s/s genotype) and group L (s/l + l/l genotype) were assessed, after the inclusion of gender and age as covariates in the analysis of variance. After controlling for gender and age, there were no associations between the harm avoidance, novelty seeking, and reward dependence scores and the genotypes. However, the persistence score of group S was significantly higher than that of group L. Our results suggest that the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism may be associated with the persistence score of the TCI in a normal Korean population.

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