Interaction of serotonin-related genes affects short-term antidepressant response in major depressive disorder

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Background: Four serotonin-related genes including guanine nucleotide binding protein beta polypeptide 3 (GNB3), 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1A (HTR1A; serotonin receptor 1A), 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 2A (HTR2A; serotonin receptor 2A), and solute carrier family 6 member 4 (SLC6A4; serotonin neurotransmitter transporter) have been suggested to be candidate genes for influencing antidepressant treatment outcome. The aim of this study was to explore whether interaction among these genes could contribute to the pharmacogenomics of short-term antidepressant response in a Taiwanese population with major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods: Included in this study were 101 MDD patients who were treated with antidepressants, 35 of whom were rapid responders and 66 non-responders after 2 weeks of treatment. We genotyped four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including GNB3 rs5443 (C825T), HTR1A rs6295 (C-1019G), HTR2A rs6311 (T102C), and SLC6A4 rs25533, and employed the generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction (GMDR) method to investigate gene-gene interactions. Results: Single-locus analyses showed the GNB3 rs5443 polymorphism to be associated with short-term antidepressant treatment outcome (P-value = 0.029). We did not correct for multiple testing in these multiple exploratory analyses. Finally, the GMDR approach identified a significant gene-gene interaction (P-value = 0.025) involving GNB3 and HTR2A, as well as a significant 3-locus model (P-value = 0.015) among GNB3, HTR2A, and SLC6A4. Conclusions: These results support the hypothesis that GNB3, HTR2A, and SLC6A4 may play a role in the outcome of short-term antidepressant treatment for MDD in an interactive manner. Future research with independent replication using large sample sizes is needed to confirm the functions of the candidate genes identified in this study as being involved in short-term antidepressant treatment response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1167-1172
Number of pages6
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry

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