The central concept underlying all of the projects in this center is that during early development serotonin is a vitally important neural growth factor and regulator of brain maturation. Thus, environmental, genetic, and pathological factors that influence serotonin availability will profoundly influence brain structure, function and ultimately, behavior. Results from animal and human studies suggest that differences in serotonin function, either associated with polymorphisms in regulatory regions of the serotonin transporter gene or prenatal exposure to SSRIs, may underlie individual differences in fundamental neurobehavioral traits. No studies thus far have characterized early life phenotypes of polymorphisms in the serotonin system, and investigations of how pharmacologic perturbations of this system influence neurobehavioral traits in infants have been very limited. To date, no human studies have identified variation in the anatomical and functional characteristics of the newborn brain that are associated with altered serotonin signaling. In Project 3, we propose assessing the effects of both genetic variation and prenatal exposure to SSRIs on brain structure and function as a convergent strategy to identify the influences of altered serotonin signaling on early brain development. Because both SSRIs and the SS genotype of the serotonin transporter should promote increased levels of extracelluar serotonin, the overall hypothesis of this project is that the effects of prenatal exposure to SSRIs on brain development will be similar to those of the SS polymorphism. The primary goals of the project are to define the effects that prenatal exposure to SSRIs and genetic variation in regulation of the serotonin transporter have on brain structure, blood flow, neurometabolite concentrations, and neuroelectric functioning using MRI data and high-density (128 lead) EEG recordings acquired within the month of life.
In Aim 1, these studies will focus on groups of infants with or without exposure to SSRIs during gestation.
In Aim 2, a similar series of measurements will be made on groups of infants that vary with regard to polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Specialized Center (P50)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-M)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York
United States
Zip Code
Lugo-Candelas, Claudia; Cha, Jiook; Hong, Susie et al. (2018) Associations Between Brain Structure and Connectivity in Infants and Exposure to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors During Pregnancy. JAMA Pediatr 172:525-533
Hao, Xuejun; Talati, Ardesheer; Shankman, Stewart A et al. (2017) Stability of Cortical Thinning in Persons at Increased Familial Risk for Major Depressive Disorder Across 8 Years. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging 2:619-625
Anderson, Micheline R; Miller, Lisa; Wickramaratne, Priya et al. (2017) Genetic Correlates of Spirituality/Religion and Depression: A Study in Offspring and Grandchildren at High and Low Familial Risk for Depression. Spiritual Clin Pract (Wash D C ) 4:43-63
Talati, Ardesheer; Wickramaratne, Priya J; Wesselhoeft, Rikke et al. (2017) Prenatal tobacco exposure, birthweight, and offspring psychopathology. Psychiatry Res 252:346-352
Gingrich, Jay A; Malm, Heli; Ansorge, Mark S et al. (2017) New Insights into How Serotonin Selective Reuptake Inhibitors Shape the Developing Brain. Birth Defects Res 109:924-932
Svob, Connie; Liu, Jie; Wickramaratne, Priya et al. (2017) Neuroanatomical correlates of familial risk-for-depression and religiosity/spirituality. Spiritual Clin Pract (Wash D C ) 4:32-42
Desai, Jay; Huo, Yuankai; Wang, Zhishun et al. (2017) Reduced perfusion in Broca's area in developmental stuttering. Hum Brain Mapp 38:1865-1874
Talati, Ardesheer; Odgerel, Zagaa; Wickramaratne, Priya J et al. (2017) Associations between serotonin transporter and behavioral traits and diagnoses related to anxiety. Psychiatry Res 253:211-219
Subaran, Ryan L; Odgerel, Zagaa; Swaminathan, Rajeswari et al. (2016) Novel variants in ZNF34 and other brain-expressed transcription factors are shared among early-onset MDD relatives. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 171B:333-41
Wang, Zhishun; Jacobs, Rachel H; Marsh, Rachel et al. (2016) Sex-specific neural activity when resolving cognitive interference in individuals with or without prior internalizing disorders. Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 249:76-83

Showing the most recent 10 out of 50 publications