Rationale and objective: Serotonin is one of the key neuromodulators involved in fundamental cerebral functions and behaviors. Previous study has demonstrated that somatization symptoms are probably associated with central serotonergic circuits, which are implicated in anxiety and nociception regulation. This study aims to examine the correlation between somatization subscale score and serotonin transporter (SERT) availability in healthy volunteers. Methods: Sixty-four healthy participants, 26 males and 38 females, were enrolled from the community and were administered the single somatization subscale of the Chinese symptom checklist 90 revised (SCL90-R). Single photon emission computed tomography with [ 123I] 2-((2-((dimethylamino) methyl)phenyl)thio)-5-iodophenylamine was also performed to examine SERT availability. Results: The somatization scores were negatively correlated with SERT availability (Spearman's ρ∈=∈-0.35, p∈=∈0.005), particularly in males (Spearman's ρ∈=∈-0.54, p∈=∈0.004). Conclusion: This result reconfirmed the correlation between central serotonergic activity and the intensity of somatization symptoms, even in healthy participants. However, a gender difference exists in this correlation.
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