Serotonin transporter availability in the midbrain and perceived social support in healthy volunteers

Hsiang Yu Huang, I. Hui Lee, Kao Chin Chen, Shih Hsien Lin, Tzung Lieh Yeh, Po See Chen, Nan Tsing Chiu, We Jen Yao, Chia Chieh Chen, Mei Hsiu Liao, Yen Kuang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Serotonin modulates human behavior and emotion. Recent evidence implies that a higher level of serotonergic activity could be associated with a higher level of perceived social support. This study aimed to examine the correlation between serotonin transporter (SERT) availability and perceived social support scores in healthy volunteers. Methods: 111 healthy participants, 50 males and 61 females, were enrolled from the community and completed the Measurement of Support Function questionnaire. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with [123I] ADAM was performed to examine SERT availability. Results: Perceived social support was positively correlated with SERT availability (Spearman's ρ=0.29, p<0.01; χ2=7.57, p<0.01), particularly in males (Spearman's ρ=0.37, p<0 .01; χ2=11.77, p<0.01). Censored regressions indicated that these associations are not influenced by a ceiling effect and remained significant after controlling the effect of age. Conclusions: This result confirmed the correlation between perceived social support and central serotonergic activity. However, this correlation was present only in males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-581
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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