The rate-limiting enzyme of serotonin biosynthesis, tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2), is one of the most promising candidate genes for psychiatric disorders. Although evidence strongly suggests that the TPH2 is significant in the etiology of major depression and anxiety disorder, whether it also contributes to the etiology of peripartum major depression and anxiety disorder, a specific subtype influenced considerably by other environmental factors like hormones, is unclear. This study investigated the role of TPH2 in the etiology of peripartum major depression and anxiety disorder in a Han Chinese population in Taiwan. Six single nucleotide polymorphisms were selected from previously profiled genetic information of TPH2 in Han Chinese. A cohort of postpartum Chinese women that included 117 patients with major depression, anxiety disorder, or both and 83 healthy controls were genotyped with selected TPH2 markers. The TPH2 2755A allele was found only in women with peripartum major depression and anxiety disorder (p=0.043) and exhibited a dominant gene action (p=0.038) with an estimated disease risk of 1.73. Although the sample size is small, results from this study suggest that the TPH2 C2755A polymorphism may represent a population-specific risk factor for peripartum major depression and anxiety disorder, perhaps by interacting with hormones.
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