unipolar depression genetic research


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Zill P, Baghai TC, Zwanzger P, Schule C, Minov C, Riedel M, Neumeier K, Rupprecht R, Bondy B.
Evidence for an association between a G-protein beta3-gene variant with depression and response to antidepressant treatment.
Neuroreport 2000 Jun 26;11(9):1893-7
"Abnormal signal transduction pathways have been implicated in the pathogenesis of bipolar disorder and major depression. G-proteins are key elements of these pathways in the regulation of cellular responses by transmission of signals from receptors to effector proteins. In recent years several studies have reported altered levels and activities of G-protein alpha subunits in depressive patients. A recently identified polymorphism of a G-protein beta3 subunit (C825T) has been shown to be associated with increased signal transduction and ion transport activity. Therefore, we investigated whether this Gbeta3 polymorphism is associated with affective disorders or with the response to antidepressant treatment in 88 depressive patients (10 bipolar disorder, 78 major depression) compared with 68 schizophrenic patients and 111 healthy controls. We found a significantly higher frequency of the T allele in depressive patients than in healthy controls (genotype: chi2 = 9.571, df = 2, p = 0.008; alleles: p = 0.004, OR = 1.87, 95% CI 1.23-2.84; Fisher's exact test, two sided) and schizophrenic patients (genotype: chi2 = 8.037, df = 2, p = 0.018; alleles: p = 0.009, OR = 1.94, 95% CI 1.99-3.14; Fisher's exact test, two sided). We also found a statistical significant association between TT homozygosity and response to antidepressant treatment after four weeks (p = 0.01). The results of this study suggest that the investigated G-protein beta3 subunit seems to be a susceptibility factor for major depression and maybe even for bipolar disorder, but not for schizophrenia. Further, the presence of the T allele could be an indicator for treatment response." [Abstract]

Lee HJ, Cha JH, Ham BJ, Han CS, Kim YK, Lee SH, Ryu SH, Kang RH, Choi MJ, Lee MS.
Association between a G-protein beta3 subunit gene polymorphism and the symptomatology and treatment responses of major depressive disorders.
Pharmacogenomics J. 2004;4(1):29-33.
"The genes involved in signal transduction are major candidates in association studies on affective disorders and responses to antidepressants. We investigated whether the C825T polymorphism of the beta3 subunit of G protein (GNB3) gene is associated with the symptom severity or treatment response of major depressive disorders (MDDs) in a Korean sample of 106 MDD patients; our study also included 133 healthy controls. Hypertensive subjects were excluded from the study because association between GNB3 variants and hypertension has been reported in previous studies. We found significantly more carriers of the 825T allele in MDD patients than in normal controls (chi(2)=6.37, P=0.012; OR=2.19, 95% CI 1.18-4.05). The T-allele carriers showed higher scores than those with the CC genotype in the baseline total and in some subcategories of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (P<0.05). We also found a statistically significant association between T-allele carriers and antidepressant treatment response (P<0.05). These results suggest that the T allele of the C825T polymorphism in the GNB3 gene is associated with MDD. It was also demonstrated that MDD patients bearing the T allele had a severe symptomatology and a better response to antidepressant treatment than patients without the T allele." [Abstract]

Serretti A, Lorenzi C, Cusin C, Zanardi R, Lattuada E, Rossini D, Lilli R, Pirovano A, Catalano M, Smeraldi E.
SSRIs antidepressant activity is influenced by G beta 3 variants.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2003 Mar;13(2):117-22
"The aim of the present study was to test a possible effect of the G-protein beta3-subunit (Gbeta3) C825T gene variant on the antidepressant activity of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in a sample of major and bipolar depressives, with or without psychotic features. Four hundred and ninety inpatients were treated with fluvoxamine 300 mg/day (n=362) or paroxetine 40 mg/day (n=128) and either placebo or pindolol in a double-blind design for 6 weeks. The severity of depressive symptoms was weekly assessed with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Gbeta3 allelic variants were determined in each subject using a PCR-based technique. Subjects with Gbeta3 T/T variants showed better response to treatment (P=0.009) and this effect was independent from analyzed demographic and clinical variables. These results confirm preliminary reports and shed further light on the genetics of the response to antidepressant treatments." [Abstract]

Exton MS, Artz M, Siffert W, Schedlowski M.
G protein beta3 subunit 825T allele is associated with depression in young, healthy subjects.
Neuroreport 2003 Mar 3;14(3):531-3
"This study investigated the relationship between the G protein beta3 subunit 825T allele and depression in young, healthy subjects. 825T and 825C allele carriers were characterized among 190 healthy medical students. State depression was assessed by the Becks Depression Inventory, supplemented by subscales of the Freiburg Personality Inventory, and Questionnaire for Measuring Factors of Aggression which assess trait depression. Depression of homo- and heterozygous 825T allele carriers was compared to 825C allele carriers via multi-level statistical analysis. 825T allele carriers displayed higher levels of depression, as measured by each questionnaire. Regression analysis demonstrated that allele type was the single predictor of depression. The predictive capacity of the 825T allele in depression was further supported by odds-ratio analysis. We conclude that the G protein beta3 subunit 825T allele is predictive of depressive mood in a young, healthy population." [Abstract]

Joyce PR, Mulder RT, Luty SE, McKenzie JM, Miller AL, Rogers GR, Kennedy MA.
Age-dependent antidepressant pharmacogenomics: polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter and G protein beta3 subunit as predictors of response to fluoxetine and nortriptyline.
Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2003 Dec;6(4):339-46.
"In 169 depressed patients randomized to treatment with either fluoxetine or nortriptyline, we examined whether polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter and the G protein beta3 subunit influenced response to these antidepressants. For depressed patients under the age of 25 yr the T allele of the G protein beta3 subunit was associated with a markedly poorer response to nortriptyline, while serotonin transporter polymorphisms did not predict antidepressant response. However, in patients 25 yr or older, the G protein beta3 polymorphisms did not predict antidepressant response, while the s,s genotype of the serotonin transporter was associated with a poorer response to both fluoxetine and nortriptyline. These differential pharmacogenetic predictors of antidepressant response by age, may provide clues to understanding the discontinuities in pharmacological responsiveness of child/adolescent and adult depressive disorders." [Abstract]

Bondy B, Baghai TC, Zill P, Bottlender R, Jaeger M, Minov C, Schule C, Zwanzger P, Rupprecht R, Engel RR.
Combined action of the ACE D- and the G-protein beta3 T-allele in major depression: a possible link to cardiovascular disease?
Mol Psychiatry 2002;7(10):1120-6
"Although it is well established that depression is a major risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease and that cerebrovascular disease can be a major contributing factor for the development of depression, the information about the interplay between the central nervous system and cardiovascular disease is still limited. We investigated the angiotensin I converting enzyme (ACE) ID and the G-protein beta3-subunit (Gbeta3) C825T polymorphism in 201 patients with unipolar major depression and 161 ethnically and age-matched controls. Both gene variants have earlier been associated with either cardiovascular disease or affective disorders, making them good candidates for a combined analysis. We found a significant increase in the Gbeta3 T allele (OR = 1.61, 95% CI 1.17-2.2, P = 0.0035) and a marginal altered genotype distribution of the ACE ID polymorphism with decrease in the II genotypes (chi(2) = 6.43, df=3, P = 0.04) in the patients' group. Analysing the data for both genes we found that the combined actions of ACE and Gbeta3 genotypes accumulate in carriers of the ACE D allele (ID and DD) and Gbeta3 TT homozygotes with ID/DD-TT carriers showing a more than five-fold increase in risk for major depression (crude OR = 5.83, 95% CI 1.99-17.08, P = 0.0002). As our study was carried out with depressive patients without serious cardiac impairment at the time of the investigation, we are presently unable to predict whether this combined action of the ACE ID/DD-Gbeta3 TT genotype is increasing the risk for both disorders. Nevertheless our study reports for the first time that the same allelic combination of two genes that have been shown to increase the risk for myocardial infarction (Naber et al, 2000) increase the vulnerability for depressive disorder." [Abstract]

Baghai TC, Schule C, Zill P, Deiml T, Eser D, Zwanzger P, Ella R, Rupprecht R, Bondy B
The angiotensin I converting enzyme insertion/deletion polymorphism influences therapeutic outcome in major depressed women, but not in men.
Neurosci Lett. 2004 Jun 3;363(1):38-42.
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) is expressed in the central nervous system (CNS), where its primary function comprises degradation of neuropeptides including substance P (SP). Because of the possible antidepressant effects of SP antagonists, the influence of SP on both pathophysiology and mitigation of depression has been hypothesized. It was shown that ACE plasma concentration is determined by an insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism represented by the presence or absence of a 287 bp DNA fragment within the ACE gene. Because the D allele was associated with higher ACE levels this may have a positive impact on the therapeutic efficacy of antidepressant treatment. Thus, variations in CNS expression of ACE might influence the response to various antidepressant therapies. We could show a divergent clinical outcome in relation to different genotypes in 313 depressed patients who were treated with various antidepressants. A lower HAM-D17 score after 4 weeks of treatment in D/D and I/D in comparison to I/I genotypes was detected; the duration of hospitalization was shorter in D allele carriers. The D allele seems to be a predictor for a faster onset of different antidepressant therapies. The patients' gender influences these outcome effects significantly. After subdivision of the patients according to their gender only female patients contributed significantly to the genotype dependent therapeutic outcome. Our investigation gives the first hint that the speed of onset of antidepressant therapies may be dependent on both variants of the ACE genes and the gender of the patients. [Abstract]

Kunugi H, Kato T, Fukuda R, Tatsumi M, Sakai T, Nanko S.
Association study of C825T polymorphism of the G-protein b3 subunit gene with schizophrenia and mood disorders.
J Neural Transm 2002 Feb;109(2):213-8
"Alterations of G proteins have been implicated in major psychiatric illnesses. A C825T polymorphism of a gene encoding the beta3 subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins (GNB3) was reported to be associated with several pathological conditions, such as hypertension and depressive disorder. We examined whether this polymorphism is associated with functional psychoses in a Japanese sample of 370 schizophrenics, 164 bipolars, 68 depressive patients, and 198 controls. We obtained no evidence for an association of the polymorphism with any diagnostic group." [Abstract]

Lin CN, Tsai SJ, Hong CJ.
Association analysis of a functional G protein beta3 subunit gene polymorphism (C825T) in mood disorders.
Neuropsychobiology 2001;44(3):118-21
"The guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins), heterotrimers consisting of alpha, beta and gamma subunits, convey signals initiated by the activation of many neurotransmitter receptors. Evidence for involvement of the G proteins in mood disorders relies on the effects of mood stabilizers and antidepressants on G protein function. In addition, abnormalities in the expression of G proteins have been demonstrated in mood disorder patients. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that a functional polymorphism (C825T) in the G protein beta3 gene subunit (GNB3) confers susceptibility to mood disorders. A population-based association study was utilized, and GNB3 was genotyped for 144 mood disorder patients and 153 normal controls. The results reveal that it is not likely that the C825T polymorphism in the GNB3 gene subunit is involved in mood disorder pathogenesis. Further studies of the associations between other G protein subunits and mood disorder are needed to fully elaborate the involvement of this protein in mood disorders." [Abstract]

Willeit M, Praschak-Rieder N, Zill P, Neumeister A, Ackenheil M, Kasper S, Bondy B.
C825T polymorphism in the G protein beta3-subunit gene is associated with seasonal affective disorder.
Biol Psychiatry. 2003 Oct 1;54(7):682-6.
"BACKGROUND: Heterotrimeric G proteins play a pivotal role in the intracellular transduction of many transmitter-receptor interactions. Alterations in signal transduction and in G protein concentrations have been reported in seasonal and nonseasonal affective disorder. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (C825T) in the G protein beta3-subunit gene has been shown to influence intracellular response to G protein-coupled stimuli, and the T-allele of this polymorphism has been associated with hypertension and major depression. METHODS: We genotyped deoxyribonucleic acid from peripheral mononuclear cells of 172 patients with seasonal affective disorder, winter type (SAD), and 143 healthy control subjects. RESULTS: Patients with SAD were significantly more likely to be either homo- or heterozygous for the G(beta)3 T-allele when compared with healthy control subjects (p =.001), and they displayed a higher frequency of the G(beta)3 C825T T-allele (p =.021). The polymorphism was not associated with seasonality, which is the tendency to experience variations in mood and behavior with changing of the seasons. CONCLUSIONS: The G(beta)3 C825T polymorphism was associated with SAD in our study sample. This finding strengthens the evidence for the involvement of G protein-coupled signal transduction in the pathogenesis of affective disorder." [Abstract]

Zubenko GS, Hughes HB 3rd, Maher BS, Stiffler JS, Zubenko WN, Marazita ML.
Genetic linkage of region containing the CREB1 gene to depressive disorders in women from families with recurrent, early-onset, major depression.
Am J Med Genet 2002 Dec 8;114(8):980-7
"This report describes the results of a model-free linkage analysis of six polymorphic markers, located in a 15 cM region of chromosome 2q33-35, and unipolar Mood Disorders in 81 families identified by probands with Recurrent, Early-Onset Major Depressive Disorder (RE-MDD), a severe and familial form of clinical depression. Our findings reveal significant evidence of linkage of unipolar Mood Disorders to a 451 Kb region of 2q33-34 flanked by D2S2321 and D2S2208 in these families. Increasing peak LOD scores were observed in both the single point and multipoint analyses for Mood Disorder phenotypes whose definitions embodied progressively less stringent severity criteria for inclusion in the affected group. The sex-dependent multipoint linkage analysis of any Major or Minor Mood Disorders produced LOD scores that reached 6.331 and 6.866 at D2S2321 and D2S2208, respectively. Linkage of Mood Disorders to this region was observed exclusively among female affected relative pairs; no suggestion of linkage was observed when male affected relative pairs were analyzed. These observations imply that a sex-specific susceptibility gene in this region contributes to the vulnerability of women in these families to the development of unipolar Mood Disorders that ranged in severity from minor to severe at the time of clinical assessment. The region between the markers that yielded the peak LOD score includes the CREB1 gene, which encodes a cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB) that is a member of the bZIP family of transcription factors. Based on considerable clinical and preclinical evidence, CREB1 is an attractive candidate for a susceptibility gene for unipolar Mood Disorders. The sex-specificity of the susceptibility locus identified by our study may result from reported synergistic interactions of CREB with nuclear estrogen receptors." [Abstract]

Zubenko GS, Maher B, Hughes HB 3rd, Zubenko WN, Stiffler JS, Kaplan BB, Marazita ML.
Genome-wide linkage survey for genetic loci that influence the development of depressive disorders in families with recurrent, early-onset, major depression.
Am J Med Genet. 2003 Nov 15;123B(1):1-18.
"In this report, we describe the results of the first genome-wide linkage survey for genetic loci that influence the development of unipolar Mood Disorders in 81 families identified by individuals with Recurrent, Early-Onset, Major Depressive Disorder (RE-MDD). Model-free linkage analysis was performed using genotypes for 392 highly informative polymorphisms with an average spacing of 9 cM. The highest maximum LOD score observed, 8.19 (genome-wide adjusted P << 0.0001), occurred for Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder (R-MDD) at D2S2321 (205 cM), located 121 kb proximal to CREB1. Nineteen chromosomal regions contained linkage peaks that reached genome-wide statistical significance (genome-wide adjusted P < 0.05) and ten of these were "highly significant" (adjusted P < 0.001). Six of the 19 linkage peaks were revealed only when the analysis included covariates to control for the effects of sex and linkage to CREB1. Sex-specific susceptibility loci were common and preferentially affected the vulnerability of women to developing unipolar Mood Disorders. Five loci revealed evidence of interaction with the CREB1 locus in determining susceptibility (epistasis). A systematic candidate gene analysis is presented and potential overlaps of the linkage regions for unipolar Mood Disorders with those reported for other psychiatric disorders are discussed. The findings suggest that genes whose products participate in cellular signaling pathways that converge on CREB, as well as the target genes whose expression they regulate, may also harbor alleles that affect the development of Mood Disorders and related conditions." [Abstract]

Kunugi H, Hashimoto R, Yoshida M, Tatsumi M, Kamijima K
A missense polymorphism (S205L) of the low-affinity neurotrophin receptor p75NTR gene is associated with depressive disorder and attempted suicide.
Am J Med Genet. 2004 Aug 15;129B(1):44-6.
Several lines of evidence have implicated that neurotrophins play an important role in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. This study examined whether a common missense polymorphism (S205L) of a gene encoding the p75NTR, the low-affinity receptor for neurotrophins, is associated with depressive disorder in a Japanese sample of 164 patients and the same number of controls matched for age and sex. There were significant differences in the genotype distribution and allele frequency between the cases and controls. The minor allele (L205) was significantly decreased in the patients than in the controls (P < 0.05, odds ratio 0.54, 95% CI 0.31-0.94), suggesting that this allele may have a protective effect against the development of major depression. Furthermore, this association was more strongly observed in the patients with a history of attempted suicide than those without such a history. Our results suggest that the S205L polymorphism of the p75NTR gene is involved in the pathogenesis of depressive disorder and suicidal behavior. [Abstract]

Tsai SJ, Wang YC, Hong CJ, Chiu HJ.
Association study of oestrogen receptor alpha gene polymorphism and suicidal behaviours in major depressive disorder.
Psychiatr Genet 2003 Mar;13(1):19-22
"OBJECTIVE Gender comparison in epidemiological studies has consistently demonstrated a greater prevalence for major depressive disorders (MDD) in females. Several lines of evidence have implicated oestrogen pathways in this gender difference. Furthermore, there is evidence that attempted suicides are more frequent in women. A population-based association study was used to test the hypothesis that the genetic variants ( II and I polymorphisms) of the oestrogen receptor alpha gene (ER-alpha) confer susceptibility to MDD.METHODS The ER-alpha was genotyped for 154 patients with MDD and 226 controls in a Chinese population.RESULTS Statistical analysis showed a significant difference in the II genotype and allele frequencies between the female MDD patients and the female controls ( =0.010 and =0.004, respectively). However, no significant differences in ER-alpha genotype or allele frequencies were found between male MDD patients and male controls. Furthermore, the ER-alpha genotypes were not associated with suicide-attempt history for MDD cases.CONCLUSIONS Our results suggest that the ER-alpha may play a role in the susceptibility of MDD in females." [Abstract]

Kelly CB, McDonnell AP, Johnston TG, Mulholland C, Cooper SJ, McMaster D, Evans A, Whitehead AS
The MTHFR C677T polymorphism is associated with depressive episodes in patients from Northern Ireland.
J Psychopharmacol. 2004 Dec;18(4):567-71.
Low plasma folate and its derivatives have been linked with depressive disorders in studies dating back over 30 years. A thermolabile variant (677C->T) of the enzyme 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is associated with low serum folate. The present study aimed to explore whether the thermolabile variant of MTHFR is associated with a vulnerability to depressive episodes. MTHFR C677T genotype frequencies in a cohort of patients (mean age 48 years) with depressive disorder (n = 100) were compared with those in age- and sex-matched controls. Serum levels of folate, homocysteine and vitamin B(12) were also compared between groups. The thermolabile variant of MTHFR was significantly more common in the group with a history of depressive disorder (P= 0.03). Serum levels of folate, homocysteine and vitamin B(12) did not differ significantly between groups. A MTHFR C677T genotype is associated with increased risk of depressive episodes in this homogenous patient population. [Abstract]

Bjelland I, Tell GS, Vollset SE, Refsum H, Ueland PM.
Folate, Vitamin B12, Homocysteine, and the MTHFR 677C->T Polymorphism in Anxiety and Depression: The Hordaland Homocysteine Study.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003 Jun;60(6):618-26.
"BACKGROUND: An association between depression and folate status has been demonstrated in clinical studies, whereas data are sparse on the relationship between depression and other components of 1-carbon metabolism such as vitamin B12, homocysteine, and the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 677C-->T polymorphism. The relationship between anxiety and these components is less well known. This study examined the associations between folate, total homocysteine, vitamin B12, and the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 677C-->T polymorphism, and anxiety and depression in a large population-based study. METHODS: Anxiety and depression, measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, were assessed in 5948 subjects aged 46 to 49 years (mean, 47.4 years) and 70 to 74 years (mean, 71.9 years) from the Hordaland Homocysteine Study cohort. By means of logistic regression models, anxiety and depression scores were examined in relation to the factors listed above. RESULTS: Overall, hyperhomocysteinemia (plasma total homocysteine level >/=15.0 micro mol/L [>/=2.02 mg/dL]) (odds ratio, 1.90; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-3.25) and T/T methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase genotype (odds ratio, 1.69; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-2.62), but not low plasma folate or vitamin B12 levels, were significantly related to depression without comorbid anxiety disorder. Plasma folate level was inversely associated with depression only in the subgroup of middle-aged women. None of the investigated parameters showed a significant relationship to anxiety. CONCLUSION: Our results provide further evidence of a role of impaired 1-carbon metabolism in depression." [Abstract]

Tan EC, Chong SA, Lim LC, Chan AO, Teo YY, Tan CH, Mahendran R
Genetic analysis of the thermolabile methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase variant in schizophrenia and mood disorders.
Psychiatr Genet. 2004 Dec;14(4):227-31.
OBJECTIVE: An elevated homocysteine level has been reported for patients with schizophrenia and depression. We investigated the frequency of the common C667 T variant of the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase in controls and patients of Chinese descent. METHODS: Controls with no history of mental disorder and patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar and unipolar disorders were recruited. Genomic DNA from all were genotyped for the C667 T polymorphism by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in genotype distributions or allele frequencies between controls and any of the diagnostic groups, although the frequency of the T allele was higher for all diagnostic groups and for both the male and female genders. When data was analyzed with the minor T allele as dominant, there was an excess of the T-containing genotypes in each of the patient groups compared with controls. For the difference between controls and all cases combined it almost reached statistical significance (P=0.077), with an odds ratio of 1.46 (95% confidence interval, 0.96-2.22). CONCLUSIONS: Although there was no significant association as measured by the P value, the odds ratio and confidence interval provided some evidence of increased risk for individuals with the T-containing genotypes. A minor role for this polymorphism in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and depression could not be ruled out and would warrant further investigation. [Abstract]

Wang JC, Hinrichs AL, Stock H, Budde J, Allen R, Bertelsen S, Kwon JM, Wu W, Dick DM, Rice J, Jones K, Nurnberger JI, Tischfield J, Porjesz B, Edenberg HJ, Hesselbrock V, Crowe R, Schuckit M, Begleiter H, Reich T, Goate AM, Bierut LJ
Evidence of common and specific genetic effects: association of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M2 (CHRM2) gene with alcohol dependence and major depressive syndrome.
Hum Mol Genet. 2004 Sep 1;13(17):1903-11.
Several correlated phenotypes, alcohol dependence, major depressive syndrome, and an endophenotype of electrophysiological measurements, event-related oscillations (EROs), have demonstrated linkage on the long arm of chromosome 7. Recently, we reported both linkage and association between polymorphisms in the gene encoding the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M2 (CHRM2) and EROs. In this study, we evaluated whether genetic variation in the CHRM2 gene is also a risk factor for the correlated clinical characteristics of alcoholism and depression. The CHRM2 gene contains a single coding exon and a large 5' untranslated region encoded by multiple exons that can be alternatively spliced. Families were recruited through an alcohol dependent proband, and multiplex pedigrees were selected for genetic analyses. We examined 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the CHRM2 gene in these families. Using the UNPHASED pedigree disequilibrium test (PDTPHASE), three SNPs (one in intron 4 and two in intron 5) showed highly significant association with alcoholism (P=0.004-0.007). Two SNPs (both in intron 4) were significantly associated with major depressive syndrome (P=0.004 and 0.017). Haplotype analyses revealed that the most common haplotype (>40% frequency), T-T-T (rs1824024-rs2061174-rs324650), was under-transmitted to affected individuals with alcohol dependence and major depressive syndrome. Different complementary haplotypes were over-transmitted in alcohol dependent and depressed individuals. These findings provide strong evidence that variants within or close to the CHRM2 locus influence risk for two common psychiatric disorders. [Abstract]

Comings DE, Wu S, Rostamkhani M, McGue M, Iacono WG, MacMurray JP.
Association of the muscarinic cholinergic 2 receptor (CHRM2) gene with major depression in women.
Am J Med Genet 2002 Jul 8;114(5):527-9
"Cholinergic neurons have been implicated in depression and in the disorders of REM sleep in depression. We examined a common A-> T 1890 polymorphism in the 3' UTR of the cholinergic muscarinic receptor 2 (CHRM2) gene. There was a significant increase in the frequency of 11 homozygotes in 126 women with major depression (43.7%) compared to 304 women without major depression (25.7%), P =.001. There was no increase in the frequency of 11 homozygotes in 52 men with depression (26.9%) compared to 278 men without depression (27.7%). Regression analysis, scoring subjects with the 11 genotype as 1, and those with other genotypes as 0, showed that in women r(2) =.030, F = 13.37, P =.0003. By contrast, in men r(2) =.00001, F = 0.002, P =.96. These results are consistent with a gender-specific role of the CHRM2 gene in depression in women." [Abstract]

Massat I, Souery D, Del-Favero J, Nothen M, Blackwood D, Muir W, Kaneva R, Serretti A, Lorenzi C, Rietschel M, Milanova V, Papadimitriou GN, Dikeos D, Van Broekhoven C, Mendlewicz J
Association between COMT (Val(158)Met) functional polymorphism and early onset in patients with major depressive disorder in a European multicenter genetic association study.
Mol Psychiatry. 2004 12 7;
The available data from preclinical and pharmacological studies on the role of the C-O-methyl transferase (COMT) support the hypothesis that abnormal catecholamine transmission has been implicated in the pathogenesis of mood disorders (MD). We examined the relationship of a common functional polymorphism (Val108/158Met) in the COMT gene, which accounts for four-fold variation in enzyme activity, with 'early-onset' (EO) forms (less than or equal to 25 years) of MD, including patients with major depressive disorder (EO-MDD) and bipolar patients (EO-BPD), in a European multicenter case-control sample. Our sample includes 378 MDD (120 EO-MDD), 506 BPD (222 EO-BPD) and 628 controls. An association was found between the high-activity COMT Val allele, particularly the COMT Val/Val genotype and EO-MDD. These findings suggest that the COMT Val/Val genotype may be involved in EO-MDD or may be in linkage disequilibrium with a different causative polymorphism in the vicinity. The COMT gene may have complex and pleiotropic effects on susceptibility and symptomatology of neuropsychiatric disorders. [Abstract]

Zubenko GS, Hughes III HB, Stiffler JS, Zubenko WN, Kaplan BB.
D2S2944 identifies a likely susceptibility locus for recurrent, early-onset, major depression in women.
Mol Psychiatry 2002;7(5):460-7
"Recurrent, early-onset, major depressive disorder (RE-MDD) is a strongly familial condition whose malignant effects have a significant negative impact on the health and longevity of patients and their family members. Sixteen of the 19 candidate susceptibility loci identified by a recent genome survey revealed allelic associations with RE-MDD in men or women, but not in both sexes. The association of D2S2944 alleles and genotypes with RE-MDD and related disorders was evaluated using a case-control study design employing 100 adults with RE-MDD and 100 adult controls who had no personal or family history of mental disorders. The results of the case-control study were subsequently evaluated in a sample of 81 families ascertained through probands with RE-MDD using the transmission/disequilibrium test. The frequency of the D2S2944 124-bp allele among women with RE-MDD was approximately three times that for female controls (P = 0.0003). Women who carried the D2S2944 124-bp allele revealed a significantly elevated risk of developing RE-MDD, as indicated by an odds ratio of 4.5 compared to female controls (P<0.001). In contrast, men with RE-MDD did not have an increased frequency of this allele compared to male controls, and men who were carriers did not exhibit an increased risk of developing RE-MDD or related disorders. Our findings also suggest that the D2S2944 124-bp allele increases the risk of alcohol and other substance use disorders among women with RE-MDD. The transmission/disequilibrium test provided confirmatory evidence of these sex-specific findings within families. The results of this study confirm the existence of sex-specific susceptibility loci for RE-MDD, and suggest that there may be important differences in the molecular pathophysiology of RE-MDD in men and women. Alternatively, our findings may reflect the existence of sex-specific differences in the molecular mechanisms that determine resilience to endogenous or environmental depressogenic stimuli. The identification and characterization of the D2S2944 susceptibility locus for RE-MDD and related substance use disorders is likely to provide important new insights into the clinical biology, treatment, and prevention of these disorders." [Abstract]

Philibert R, Caspers K, Langbehn D, Troughton EP, Yucuis R, Sandhu HK, Cadoret RJ.
The association of the D2S2944 124 bp allele with recurrent early onset major depressive disorder in women.
Am J Med Genet. 2003 Aug 15;121B(1):39-43.
"Major depressive disorder (MDD) and substance use disorders (SUD) are complex behavioral disorders with 40-50% heritability. Recently, Zubenko and colleagues reported that the 124 bp allele of D2S2944, a tetranucleotide repeat marker on 2q35, is strongly associated with recurrent, early onset MDD (RE-MDD) and alcohol use disorders in women. To test this hypothesis, we examined the association of the 124 bp allele in a subset of 171 adoptees from the Iowa Adoption Studies, a population with high rates of MDD and SUD. We report that in our population, the 124 bp allele significantly associated with RE-MDD in women. There was slight evidence of an increased of SUD in women with the 124 bp allele with the rate of cannabis use disorders reaching statistical significance (P < 0.04) before correction for multiple comparisons. Given the history of prior studies implicating 2q35 as a locus encoding vulnerability to co-morbid alcoholism and depression, these findings strongly suggest that sequence variation conveying increased susceptibility to MDD and possibly SUD is in close proximity to D2S2944." [Abstract]

Zubenko GS, Hughes HB, Stiffler JS, Zubenko WN, Kaplan BB.
Genome survey for susceptibility loci for recurrent, early-onset major depression: results at 10cM resolution.
Am J Med Genet 2002 May 8;114(4):413-22
"Recurrent (two or more episodes), early-onset (first episode at < or = 25 years) major depressive disorder (RE-MDD) is a strongly familial condition (lambda(first-degree relatives) = 8) whose malignant effects have a significant negative impact on the health and longevity of patients and their family members. The goal of this study was to identify candidate susceptibility loci that influence the development of RE-MDD. We completed a systematic survey of the human genome, conducted at an average resolution of 10 cM, for the identification of simple sequence tandem repeat polymorphisms (SSTRPs) that target susceptibility genes for RE-MDD by virtue of linkage disequilibrium. The efficiency of our association study was enhanced by genotyping pools of DNA from 100 adults with RE-MDD and 100 adult controls who had no personal or family history of mental disorders. Both groups included equal numbers of Caucasian men and women and were matched as closely as possible for age and ethnicity. Allelic associations with RE-MDD were observed for 19 of the 387 SSTRPs in the CHLC Human Screening Set/Weber Version 9. Sixteen of the 19 candidate susceptibility loci revealed significant allelic associations with RE-MDD in men (n = 7) or women (n = 9), but not in both sexes. Evidence for both risk and protective alleles was detected. Two of the candidate susceptibility loci reside within several Mb of loci previously reported-megabases to be linked to "comorbid alcoholism and depression" in families of individuals with alcoholism and to a broadly defined affected phenotype that included recurrent major depression in the families of patients with bipolar disorder. Although it has been suggested that the genes that influence risk for MDD in the two sexes may not be entirely the same, the results of our study suggest that sex specificity of susceptibility loci for RE-MDD may be the rule rather than the exception. The observed preponderance of sex-specific susceptibility loci for RE-MDD suggests that there may be important differences in the molecular pathophysiology of RE-MDD in men and women. Alternatively, our findings may reflect the existence of sex-specific differences in the molecular mechanisms that determine resilience to endogenous or environmental depressogenic stimuli." [Abstract]

Wood JG, Joyce PR, Miller AL, Mulder RT, Kennedy MA.
A polymorphism in the dopamine beta-hydroxylase gene is associated with "paranoid ideation" in patients with major depression.
Biol Psychiatry 2002 Mar 1;51(5):365-9
"BACKGROUND: Increased dopaminergic activity may play a primary role in psychotic depression. Dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DbetaH) catalyses the key step in biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline from dopamine, and low DbetaH activity is a possible risk factor for developing psychotic depression. An exon 2 polymorphism (DBH*444 g/a) of the DbetaH gene (DBH) is significantly associated with both serum and cerebrospinal fluid levels of DbetaH. METHODS: We determined the genotype of the DBH*444g/a polymorphism in a cohort of 164 patients with major depression and examined the association of this polymorphism with paranoid ideation, interpersonal sensitivity, and psychoticism on the Hopkins Symptom Checklist. RESULTS: Patients who possessed the A allele were significantly more likely to have higher scores for interpersonal sensitivity and paranoia than patients without the A allele (p =.004 and p =.048, respectively), suggesting that this allele may predispose patients to paranoia in major depression. In addition, we found an association between prolactin levels in men and DBH*444 g/a genotype such that homozygous G individuals displayed significantly higher levels than homozygous A or heterozygote individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Depressed patients with the GG genotype of DbetaH have lower scores for interpersonal sensitivity and paranoid ideation. The GG genotype may be protective against the development of psychosis in the presence of a major depressive episode." [Abstract]

Cubells JF, Price LH, Meyers BS, Anderson GM, Zabetian CP, Alexopoulos GS, Nelson JC, Sanacora G, Kirwin P, Carpenter L, Malison RT, Gelernter J.
Genotype-controlled analysis of plasma dopamine beta-hydroxylase activity in psychotic unipolar major depression.
Biol Psychiatry 2002 Mar 1;51(5):358-64
"BACKGROUND: Plasma activity of dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DbetaH), the enzyme that converts dopamine to norepinephrine, is reportedly lower in patients with unipolar major depression with psychotic features (UDPF) than in those with nonpsychotic unipolar major depression (UD). Plasma DbetaH is under genetic control by the structural locus encoding DbetaH protein, DBH. This study tested the hypothesis that diagnosis-specific allelic variation at DBH accounts for lower plasma DbetaH in UDPF. METHODS: Plasma DbetaH activity was measured in samples from patients with UDPF (n = 33) and UD (n = 45). Genotypes were determined at several functional DBH polymorphisms, including C-1021T, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the proximal 5' region that associates with variation in plasma DbetaH activity. RESULTS: Mean plasma DbetaH activity was significantly lower in UDPF than in UD. Genotyping at DBH did not reveal genetic associations distinguishing UDPF from UD. A two-way analysis of variance showed significant effects of genotype and diagnostic group but no significant interaction. CONCLUSIONS: Although the effects of the diagnosis of UDPF, and of DBH allele status, on plasma DbetaH activity were replicated, the lower plasma DbetaH in patients with UDPF was not accounted for by DBH genotype. Several explanations for this result are possible. First, other variants at DBH, or at other loci, could account for the findings. Second, nongenetic factors could account for the differences in plasma DbetaH. In this regard, we hypothesize that abnormal regulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function in UDPF lowers expression of DbetaH protein, which could in turn alter the ratio of dopamine and norepinephrine in noradrenergic neurons, thereby promoting development of psychotic symptoms." [Abstract]

Holmans P, Zubenko GS, Crowe RR, DePaulo JR Jr, Scheftner WA, Weissman MM, Zubenko WN, Boutelle S, Murphy-Eberenz K, MacKinnon D, McInnis MG, Marta DH, Adams P, Knowles JA, Gladis M, Thomas J, Chellis J, Miller E, Levinson DF.
Genomewide Significant Linkage to Recurrent, Early-Onset Major Depressive Disorder on Chromosome 15q.
Am J Hum Genet. 2004 Jun;74(6):1154-67.
"A genome scan was performed on the first phase sample of the Genetics of Recurrent Early-Onset Depression (GenRED) project. The sample consisted of 297 informative families containing 415 independent affected sibling pairs (ASPs), or, counting all possible pairs, 685 informative affected relative pairs (555 ASPs and 130 other pair types). Affected cases had recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) with onset before age 31 years for probands or age 41 years for other affected relatives; the mean age at onset was 18.5 years, and the mean number of depressive episodes was 7.3. The Center for Inherited Disease Research genotyped 389 microsatellite markers (mean spacing of 9.3 cM). The primary linkage analysis considered allele sharing in all possible affected relative pairs with the use of the Z(lr) statistic computed by the ALLEGRO program. A secondary logistic regression analysis considered the effect of the sex of the pair as a covariate. Genomewide significant linkage was observed on chromosome 15q25.3-26.2 (Zlr=4.14, equivalent LOD = 3.73, empirical genomewide P=.023). The linkage was not sex specific. No other suggestive or significant results were observed in the primary analysis. The secondary analysis produced three regions of suggestive linkage, but these results should be interpreted cautiously because they depended primarily on the small subsample of 42 male-male pairs. Chromosome 15q25.3-26.2 deserves further study as a candidate region for susceptibility to MDD." [Abstract]

Abkevich V, Camp NJ, Hensel CH, Neff CD, Russell DL, Hughes DC, Plenk AM, Lowry MR, Richards RL, Carter C, Frech GC, Stone S, Rowe K, Chau CA, Cortado K, Hunt A, Luce K, O'Neil G, Poarch J, Potter J, Poulsen GH, Saxton H, Bernat-Sestak M, Thompson V, Gutin A, Skolnick MH, Shattuck D, Cannon-Albright L.
Predisposition locus for major depression at chromosome 12q22-12q23.2.
Am J Hum Genet. 2003 Dec;73(6):1271-81. Epub 2003 Nov 05.
"Major depression disorder is a common psychiatric disease with a major economic impact on society. In many cases, no effective treatment is available. The etiology of major depression is complex, but it is clear that the disease is, to a large extent, determined genetically, especially among individuals with a familial history of major depression, presumably through the involvement of multiple predisposition genes in addition to an environmental component. As a first step toward identification of chromosomal loci contributing to genetic predisposition to major depression, we have conducted a genomewide scan by using 628 microsatellite markers on 1,890 individuals from 110 Utah pedigrees with a strong family history of major depression. We identified significant linkage to major depression in males at marker D12S1300 (multipoint heterogeneity LOD score 4.6; P=.00003 after adjustment for multiple testing). With additional markers, the linkage evidence became highly significant, with the multipoint heterogeneity LOD score at marker D12S1706 increasing to 6.1 (P=.0000007 after adjustment for multiple testing). This study confirms the presence of one or more genes involved in psychiatric diseases on the q arm of chromosome 12 and provides strong evidence for the existence of a sex-specific predisposition gene to major depression at 12q22-q23.2." [Abstract]

Blackwood DH, Fordyce A, Walker MT, St Clair DM, Porteous DJ, Muir WJ.
Schizophrenia and affective disorders--cosegregation with a translocation at chromosome 1q42 that directly disrupts brain-expressed genes: clinical and P300 findings in a family.
Am J Hum Genet 2001 Aug;69(2):428-33
"A family with a (1;11)(q42;q14.3) translocation significantly linked to a clinical phenotype that includes schizophrenia and affective disorders is described. This translocation generates a LOD score of 3.6 when the disease phenotype is restricted to schizophrenia, of 4.5 when the disease phenotype is restricted to affective disorders, of 7.1 when relatives with recurrent major depression, with bipolar disorder, or with schizophrenia are all classed as affected. This evidence for linkage is among the strongest reported for a psychiatric disorder. Family members showed no distinctive features by which the psychiatric phenotype could be distinguished from unrelated cases of either schizophrenia or affective disorders, and no physical, neurological, or dysmorphic conditions co-occurred with psychiatric symptoms. Translocation carriers and noncarriers had the same mean intelligence quotient. Translocation carriers were similar to subjects with schizophrenia and different from noncarriers and controls, in showing a significant reduction in the amplitude of the P300 event-related potential (ERP). Furthermore, P300 amplitude reduction and latency prolongation were measured in some carriers of the translocation who had no psychiatric symptoms-a pattern found in other families with multiple members with schizophrenia, in which amplitude of and latency of P300 appear to be trait markers of risk. The results of karyotypic, clinical, and ERP investigations of this family suggest that the recently described genes DISC1 and DISC2, which are directly disrupted by the breakpoint on chromosome 1, may have a role in the development of a disease phenotype that includes schizophrenia as well as unipolar and bipolar affective disorders." [Abstract]

Covault J, Pettinati H, Moak D, Mueller T, Kranzler HR.
Association of a long-chain fatty acid-CoA ligase 4 gene polymorphism with depression and with enhanced niacin-induced dermal erythema.
Am J Med Genet. 2004 May 15;127B(1):42-7.
"Hypotheses about relationships between changes in membrane lipids and mental illness have focused primarily on three long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids: arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Membrane deficiencies of these fatty acids have been reported in schizophrenia (AA, EPA, and DHA) and in depression (EPA and DHA). Long-chain fatty acid-CoA ligase type 4 (FACL4; MIM 300157) is a key enzyme involved in the metabolism of AA, EPA, and DHA. FACL4 selectively esterifies these fatty acids with co-enzyme A, forming acyl-co-A, which can then be incorporated into membrane phospholipid. We used niacin-induced dermal erythema as one index of AA metabolism to identify a common C to T single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the first intron of the FACL4 gene (Xq22.3), which is associated with enhanced dermal erythema in both schizophrenia and control subjects. Male subjects with the T0 genotype showed greater dermal erythema following topical application of methylnicotinate, suggesting that this polymorphism may be in linkage disequilibrium with a functional polymorphism of the FACL4 gene that modulates re-sequestration of agonist-released free AA. We also examined the allele frequency of this polymorphism in 555 European-Americans (EA), including 229 control subjects, 198 subjects with major depression, 58 with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and 70 with alcohol dependence without co-morbid psychiatric illness. We observed a significant excess of the T allele in subjects with major depression, as compared with controls (49% vs. 38%; P = 0.003) and a non-significant excess of the T allele in schizophrenia (44%; P = 0.29). The allele frequency for subjects with alcohol dependence did not differ from controls." [Abstract]

Philibert R, Caspers K, Langbehn D, Troughton EP, Yucuis R, Sandhu HK, Cadoret RJ.
The association of a HOPA polymorphism with major depression and phobia.
Compr Psychiatry 2002 Sep-Oct;43(5):404-10
"Thyroid hormone has a prominent role in the development and homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS). Consequently, genes participating in thyroid hormone receptor (THR)-mediated signal transduction are prime candidates for neuropsychiatric illness susceptibility factors. Previously, we have associated exonic polymorphisms in a Xq13 thyroid receptor coactivator named HOPA with a modest increase in vulnerability to a broad spectrum of neuropsychiatric illness, including depression, psychosis, and hypothyroidism. In order to test and extend these findings, we have now examined the relationship between HOPA polymorphisms and neuropsychiatric illness in a cohort of Iowa adoptees. Consistent with our prior findings, HOPA polymorphisms were associated with an increased risk for major depression. There was suggestive evidence that the increased psychiatric morbidity in these subjects could represent epistasis, e.g., an interaction between the HOPA variant and a genetic diathesis for another psychiatric condition such as biologic parent antisocial behavior. Information about biologic parent behavior and the adoptive home environment was used to determine depressive symptoms attributable to gene-environment interaction. HOPA variant subjects continued to show significant differences in depressive symptoms when controlling for gene-environment interaction. Finally, because obesity is associated with hypothyroidism and HOPA polymorphisms are associated with hypothyroidism, we analyzed weight with respect to HOPA allele status. We found that that HOPA polymorphisms were associated with increased risk for obesity (P <.001). In summary, we conclude that HOPA polymorphisms may be a moderate risk factor for increased susceptibility to a broad spectrum of neuropsychiatric illness and hypothesize that the type of illness manifested might be related to a separate genetic diathesis." [Abstract]

Ryu SH, Lee SH, Lee HJ, Cha JH, Ham BJ, Han CS, Choi MJ, Lee MS.
Association between Norepinephrine Transporter Gene Polymorphism and Major Depression.
Neuropsychobiology. 2004;49(4):174-7.
"Noradrenergic and serotonergic abnormalities have long been implicated in patients with major depression. The novel selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor reboxetine has been shown to be at least as effective as imipramine, desipramine and fluoxetine in the treatment of major depression. It is suggested that the dysfunction of the norepinephrine transporter (NET) may be related to major depression. Although the transcriptional activity related to the NET gene expression is little known, it may be a good candidate gene for major depression. Therefore, we investigated whether the T-182C polymorphism of the NET gene is associated with major depression in a Korean sample of 112 major depression patients compared with 136 healthy controls. We found a significantly lower frequency in TT genotype in patients with major depression than in normal controls when the genotypes of T-182C polymorphism were classified into two groups: TT group versus TC + CC group (p = 0.019). This result suggests that the T-182C polymorphism in the NET gene might be associated with major depression." [Abstract]

Owen D, Du L, Bakish D, Lapierre YD, Hrdina PD.
Norepinephrine transporter gene polymorphism is not associated with susceptibility to major depression.
Psychiatry Res 1999 Jul 30;87(1):1-5 [Abstract]

Zill P, Engel R, Baghai TC, Juckel G, Frodl T, Muller-Siecheneder F, Zwanzger P, Schule C, Minov C, Behrens S, Rupprecht R, Hegerl U, Moller HJ, Bondy B.
Identification of a naturally occurring polymorphism in the promoter region of the norepinephrine transporter and analysis in major depression.
Neuropsychopharmacology 2002 Apr;26(4):489-93
"Our results suggest that the investigated polymorphisms are not major susceptibility factors in the etiology of major depression." [Abstract]

van West D, Del-Favero J, Aulchenko Y, Oswald P, Souery D, Forsgren T, Sluijs S, Bel-Kacem S, Adolfsson R, Mendlewicz J, Van Duijn C, Deboutte D, Van Broeckhoven C, Claes S.
A major SNP haplotype of the arginine vasopressin 1B receptor protects against recurrent major depression.
Mol Psychiatry. 2004 Mar;9(3):287-92.
"Increasing amounts of data suggest that affective disorders might be related to dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, one of the stress-response systems. Arginine vasopressin (AVP) influences several symptoms, relevant to affective disorders, notable memory processes, pain sensitivity, synchronization of biological rhythms and the timing and quality of REM sleep. We examined whether genetic variations in the AVP receptor 1b gene (AVPR1b) could be associated with increased susceptibility to affective disorders using a gene-based association analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Five SNPs were identified in AVPR1b and genotyped in two well-diagnosed samples of patients with recurrent major depression and matched controls. In the Swedish sample, we observed significant allele (P=0.02) and genotype (P=0.01) association with SNP AVPR1b-s3, and in the Belgian sample, a borderline significant association with SNP AVPR1b-s5 (P=0.04). In both patient-control samples, the haplotype defined by alleles A-T-C-A-G for the AVPR1b-s SNPs s1-s2-s3-s4-s5 was significantly over-represented in controls compared to patients. Our data support a protective effect of this major haplotype for recurrent major depression." [Abstract]

Claes S, Villafuerte S, Forsgren T, Sluijs S, Del-Favero J, Adolfsson R, Van Broeckhoven C.
The corticotropin-releasing hormone binding protein is associated with major depression in a population from Northern Sweden.
Biol Psychiatry. 2003 Nov 1;54(9):867-72.
"BACKGROUND: Recent research suggests that central corticotropin releasing hormone hyperdrive is an important neurobiological risk factor for developing major depression. The availability of free corticotropin releasing hormone in the central nervous system is tightly regulated by the expression of corticotropin releasing hormone binding protein. Therefore, the gene encoding for corticotropin releasing hormone binding protein is a functional candidate gene for major depression. METHODS: We present a systematic study of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the corticotropin releasing hormone binding protein gene and their role in the liability for major depression. Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped in a well-diagnosed sample of 89 patients with recurrent major depressions and matched controls. RESULTS: Two single nucleotide polymorphisms within the corticotropin releasing hormone binding protein gene were significantly associated with the disease (p <.05). An expectation-maximization algorithm estimated a specific haplotype to have a frequency of 53% in patients and 35% in controls (p <.001). CONCLUSIONS: The corticotropin releasing hormone binding protein gene is likely to be involved in the genetic vulnerability for major depression." [Abstract]

Heiman GA, Ottman R, Saunders-Pullman RJ, Ozelius LJ, Risch NJ, Bressman SB
Increased risk for recurrent major depression in DYT1 dystonia mutation carriers.
Neurology. 2004 Aug 24;63(4):631-7.
BACKGROUND: Prior studies suggest that dystonia is comorbid with affective disorders. This comorbidity could be a reaction to a chronic debilitating disorder or expression of a predisposing gene. The authors took advantage of the identification of a gene for dystonia, DYT1, to test these alternative explanations. METHODS: The authors administered a standardized psychiatric interview to members of families with an identified DYT1 mutation. The authors classified family members into three groups: mutation carriers with dystonia (manifesting carriers; n = 96), mutation carriers without dystonia (non-manifesting carriers; n = 60), and noncarriers (n = 65). RESULTS: The risk for recurrent major depressive disorder was increased in both non-manifesting carriers (RR = 4.95, CI = 1.72 to 14.29) and manifesting carriers (RR = 3.62, CI = 1.00 to 10.53) compared with noncarriers. Mutation carriers also had earlier age at onset of recurrent major depressive disorder than noncarriers. The severity of motor signs was not associated with the likelihood of recurrent depression. Mutation carriers did not have an increased risk for other affective disorders, such as single major depression or bipolar disorder. CONCLUSIONS: Early-onset recurrent major depression is associated with the DYT1 GAG mutation and this association is independent of motor manifestations of dystonia. These findings suggest that early-onset recurrent depression is a clinical expression of the DYT1 gene mutation. [Abstract]

Koido K, Kks S, Nikopensius T, Maron E, Altme S, Heinaste E, Vabrit K, Tammekivi V, Hallast P, Kurg A, Shlik J, Vasar V, Metspalu A, Vasar E
Polymorphisms in wolframin (WFS1) gene are possibly related to increased risk for mood disorders.
Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2004 10 11;1-10.
Wolfram syndrome gene (WFS1) has been suggested to have a role in the susceptibility for mood disorders. A 26-fold increased risk for psychiatric disorders in WFS1 mutation carriers has been suggested. In this study we tested the hypothesis that the WFS1 gene is related to the risk for mood disorders. We analysed 28 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the WFS1 gene in 224 unrelated patients with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder and in 160 healthy control subjects. Patients were further stratified according to their comorbidity with anxiety disorders. We applied arrayed primer extension (APEX)-based genotyping technology followed by association and haplotype analysis. Five SNPs in the WFS1 gene were associated with major depressive disorder, and three SNPs with bipolar disorder. Haplotype analysis revealed a common GTA haplotype, formed by SNPs 684CG, 1185CT and 1832GA, conferring risk for affective disorders. Specifically, for major depression the GTA haplotype has an OR of 1.59 (p=0.01) and for bipolar disorder an OR of 1.89 (p=0.03). These results support the hypothesis that the WFS1 gene is involved in the genetic predisposition for mood disorders. [Abstract]

Serretti A, Lilli R, Lorenzi C, Lattuada E, Smeraldi E.
DRD4 exon 3 variants associated with delusional symptomatology in major psychoses: a study on 2,011 affected subjects.
Am J Med Genet 2001 Apr 8;105(3):283-90
"We previously reported an association of DRD4 exon3 long allele variants with delusional symptomatology independently from diagnoses. The aim of this investigation was to study DRD4 in major psychoses and to test the association in a larger sample. We studied 2,011 inpatients affected by bipolar disorder (n = 811), major depressive disorder (n = 635), schizophrenia (n = 419), delusional disorder (n = 104), psychotic disorder not otherwise specified (n = 42), and 601 healthy controls. A subsample of 1,264 patients were evaluated using the OPCRIT checklist and differences of symptomatology factor scores among genetic variants were assessed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). DRD4 allele and genotype frequencies in bipolars, schizophrenics, delusionals, and psychotic NOS were not significantly different from controls; major depressives showed a trend toward an excess of DRD4*Short and DRD4*Short/Short variants versus controls. The ANOVA on factor scores in the whole subsample of 1,264 subjects showed a significant difference on delusion factor in allele analysis (P = 0.007), and in genotype one (P = 0.018), with DRD4*Long containing variants associated with severe symptomatology. The analysis in the replication subjects only (n = 803) showed a trend in the same direction, though not reaching the significance level. This analysis in an enlarged sample suggests that DRD4*Long alleles exert a small but significant influence on the delusional symptomatology in subjects affected by major psychoses." [Abstract]

Serretti A, Lilli R, Di Bella D, Bertelli S, Nobile M, Novelli E, Catalano M, Smeraldi E.
Dopamine receptor D4 gene is not associated with major psychoses.
Am J Med Genet 1999 Oct 15;88(5):486-91
"We previously reported an association between dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene exon 1 variants and delusional disorder. The aim of this investigation was to study the DRD4 gene exon 1 and 3 variants in schizophrenia, delusional, bipolar, and unipolar disorders. We studied 651 inpatients affected by schizophrenia (n = 229), delusional (n = 86), bipolar (n = 210), and unipolar (n = 126) disorders (DSM III-R) and 471 healthy controls; these were typed for DRD4 variants at the first and third exon using polymerase chain reaction techniques. DRD4 variants were not associated with schizophrenic and delusional subjects even when possible confounders like gender and onset were considered. A marginal association between DRD4 exon 3 variants with unipolar (excess of DRD4*2/4, p = 0.004) and bipolar (excess of DRD4*2/4, p = 0.001) disorders was observed, both associations drop to insignificance when corrected for multiple testing. Our results exclude that coding variants of the DRD4 exon 1 and 3 may play a major role in conferring susceptibility to major psychoses; moreover, we could not replicate the association of DRD4 exon 1 variant with delusional disorder." [Abstract]

Serretti A, Macciardi F, Cusin C, Lattuada E, Lilli R, Smeraldi E.
Dopamine receptor D4 gene is associated with delusional symptomatology in mood disorders.
Psychiatry Res 1998 Aug 17;80(2):129-36
"Disturbances of the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system have been implicated in the pathogenesis of depressive symptoms. Many studies have, however, failed to detect any association between genetic markers for the dopamine system and mood disorders. A possible reason for this may lie in the definition of phenotype, which is traditionally based on psychiatric diagnosis. In this study, we investigated the possibility that functional variants of the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene might be associated with depressive symptomatology in a sample of mood disorder subjects. Seventy-nine inpatients affected by bipolar (n=37) and major depressive (n=42) disorder (DSM-IV) were assessed at admission by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and were typed for DRD4 variants at the third exon using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques. DRD4 was associated with delusional symptoms (F=5.56; d.f.=2,145; P=0.005), with DRD4*7 exhibiting higher scores when compared to DRD4*4 (P=0.006) variants. Polarity of mood disorder did not influence results significantly. The findings are in accordance with our previous report of an association of the DRD4 gene with delusional symptomatology of major psychoses. DRD4*7 should, therefore, be considered a liability factor for delusional symptoms in mood disorders." [Abstract]

Serretti A, Cusin C, Lattuada E, Lilli R, Lorenzi C, Di Bella D, Catalano M, Smeraldi E.
No interaction between serotonin transporter gene and dopamine receptor D4 gene in symptomatology of major psychoses.
Am J Med Genet 1999 Oct 15;88(5):481-5
"Previously, we reported an association of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene with delusional symptomatology of major psychoses. However, DRD4 variants accounted for only 2% of the phenotypic variance, indicating that contributions from other genes were probable. The serotonin transporter gene is a primary candidate in major psychoses, and a functional polymorphism in the upstream regulatory region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) has recently been reported to be associated with a number of psychopathological conditions. In the present study we investigated the original cohort of subjects to evaluate the 5-HTTLPR possible influence on the psychopathology of major psychoses in interaction with DRD4. Four hundred and sixty-one inpatients affected by major psychoses were assessed by the Operational Criteria Checklist for Psychotic Illness (OPCRIT) and were also typed for the 5-HTTLPR and DRD4 variants using polymerase chain reaction techniques. Mania, depression, delusion, and disorganization were the four symptomatologic factors used as phenotype definition. 5-HTTLPR variants did not significantly influence the previously reported association of DRD4 with delusional symptoms. No interaction was observed on the other symptom factors. The serotonin transporter gene does not, therefore, interact with DRD4 in determining the symptomatology of major psychoses." [Abstract]

Persson ML, Geijer T, Wasserman D, Rockah R, Frisch A, Michaelovsky E, Jonsson EG, Apter A, Weizman A.
Lack of association between suicide attempt and a polymorphism at the dopamine receptor D4 locus.
Psychiatr Genet 1999 Jun;9(2):97-100 [Abstract]

Neiswanger K, Zubenko GS, Giles DE, Frank E, Kupfer DJ, Kaplan BB.
Linkage and association analysis of chromosomal regions containing genes related to neuroendocrine or serotonin function in families with early-onset, recurrent major depression.
Am J Med Genet 1998 Sep 7;81(5):443-9
"Recurrent unipolar depression with an early age of onset is a severe form of unipolar depression that has both genetic and environmental components. We genotyped the members of 16 families identified by probands with early onset (< or = 25 years), recurrent unipolar, major depression for 38 simple sequence tandem repeat polymorphisms (SSTRPs) from chromosomal regions containing 12 genes involved in neuroendocrine or serotonergic functioning. Pairwise linkage analysis was performed with the software package FASTLINK. The affected phenotype was defined four ways, and both dominant and recessive models of depression were analyzed. Seven SSTRPs showed lod scores > 1.00 at theta values between 0.10-0.20. The members of an additional 18 families were genotyped for these seven SSTRPs, and the complete sample of 34 families was evaluated using lod score analysis, affected pedigree member linkage analysis, and within-family association analysis. Evidence for linkage between D11S929 and affective illness remained positive, necessitating the analysis of four additional SSTRPs within 3 cM of D11S929. After all confirmatory analyses were completed, no evidence suggestive of linkage remained between any of the 38 SSTRPs and the affected phenotypes." [Abstract]

Gutiérrez B, Arias B, Gastó C, Catalán R, Papiol S, Pintor L, Fañanás L
Association analysis between a functional polymorphism in the monoamine oxidase A gene promoter and severe mood disorders.
Psychiatr Genet. 2004 Dec;14(4):203-8.
Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) has been suggested to be involved in human behaviour and physiology due to its key role in the metabolism of several different biological amines including the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrin and dopamine.Recently, a 30 bp repeat in the MAOA gene promoter (uMAOA) has been demonstrated to be polymorphic and to affect transcriptional activity.In the context of an association case-control study design, we analysed the uMAOA polymorphism in 389 unrelated patients affected by severe mood disorders (88 bipolar subjects and 301 major depressive individuals) and in 156 controls. No association was found between the uMAOA locus and bipolar disorder or major depression. However, an increase of high-activity uMAOA alleles was found in major depression female patients presenting a seasonal pattern (chi2=3.013, P=0.05) or psychotic symptoms in their episodes (chi2=2.679, P=0.07). In female bipolar disorder patients, long alleles were associated with longest times of admission (F=4.604, P=0.037). A trend for association with seasonal pattern was also defined in this group (data not corrected for multiple testing). Our results suggest that MAOA gene variation may modulate the expression of some clinical aspects of severe mood disorders, especially in females, and support the existence of a genetic and aetiologic heterogeneity underlying the diagnoses of bipolar disorder and major depression. [Abstract]

Schulze TG, Muller DJ, Krauss H, Scherk H, Ohlraun S, Syagailo YV, Windemuth C, Neidt H, Grassle M, Papassotiropoulos A, Heun R, Nothen MM, Maier W, Lesch KP, Rietschel M.
Association between a functional polymorphism in the monoamine oxidase A gene promoter and major depressive disorder.
Am J Med Genet 2000 Dec 4;96(6):801-3
"Various polymorphisms of the X-chromosomal monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) gene were investigated for association with affective disorders. However, none of the studied variants could consistently be associated with either major depressive or bipolar affective disorder. Recently, a positive association between panic disorder and a novel functional repeat polymorphism in the MAO-A gene promoter, with the longer alleles being more active, was reported. Since monoaminergic neurotransmission is supposed to play an important role in affective disorders, we investigated a potential association of this polymorphism with major depressive illness in a sample of 146 unrelated patients of German descent and a control group of 101 individuals with a negative life history for affective disorders. Similarly to the recent findings in panic disorder, we observed a significantly increased frequency of genotypes containing only long alleles in female patients with recurrent major depression in comparison with age- and sex-matched controls. Thus, our data suggest that an excess of high-activity MAO-A gene promoter alleles resulting in an elevated MAO-A activity is a risk factor for major depressive disorder in females." [Abstract]

Du L, Bakish D, Ravindran A, Hrdina PD
MAO-A gene polymorphisms are associated with major depression and sleep disturbance in males.
Neuroreport. 2004 Sep 15;15(13):2097-101.
We investigated whether the genetic variants of the MAO-A gene were associated with major depression and/or the clusters of depressive symptoms. The EcoRV and the uVNTR polymorphisms were studied in a population of 191 patients with major depression and 233 control subjects. The EcoRV polymorphism was found to be associated with depression in males but not in females. Haplotype analysis revealed that one of the haplotypes (EcoRV2-uVNTR1) was significantly more frequent among male patients than male controls. Among the HAMD symptom clusters, insomnia scores were significantly higher in male patients carrying allele 2 of the EcoRV polymorphism. These data suggest that the EcoRV and uVNTR polymorphisms may be involved in the pathogenesis of major depression and associated with insomnia in depressed patients. [Abstract]

Tadic A, Rujescu D, Szegedi A, Giegling I, Singer P, Moller HJ, Dahmen N.
Association of a MAOA gene variant with generalized anxiety disorder, but not with panic disorder or major depression.
Am J Med Genet 2003 Feb 15;117B(1):1-6
"This study was conducted to detect a possible association of a T941G single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), or major depression (MD). Fifty GAD patients (34 females and 16 males), 38 PD patients (21 females and 17 males), and 108 MD patients (80 females and 28 males) were included. The comparison group consisted of 276 (132 females and 144 males) unrelated healthy individuals. The 941T allele was over-represented in patients suffering from GAD (chi(2) = 6.757; df = 1; P < 0.01, not corrected for multiple testing) when compared to healthy volunteers. No association was observed in MD or PD. This is the first study specifically analyzing the MAOA G941T polymorphism in GAD and thus needs to be replicated in an independent sample. However, the results are in line with previous data suggesting an association between the MAOA locus and regulation of complex human behavior." [Abstract]

Kunugi H, Ishida S, Kato T, Tatsumi M, Sakai T, Hattori M, Hirose T, Nanko S.
A functional polymorphism in the promoter region of monoamine oxidase-A gene and mood disorders.
Mol Psychiatry 1999 Jul;4(4):393-5
"A polymorphism of a variable number tandem repeat (VNTR), that was recently found in the promoter region of the monoamine oxidase-A (MAOA) gene, was shown to be associated with its transcriptional activity. This study examined whether this functional polymorphism of the MAOA gene is associated with the risk of developing mood disorders in a Japanese sample of 161 patients with bipolar disorder, 98 with unipolar depression, and 258 controls. There was no significant genotypic or allelic association, suggesting that the functional VNTR polymorphism in the MAOA gene is unlikely to play a major role in the pathogenesis of bipolar disorder or unipolar depression. Furthermore, we found no association between the polymorphism and a history of suicide attempt." [Abstract]

Syagailo YV, Stober G, Grassle M, Reimer E, Knapp M, Jungkunz G, Okladnova O, Meyer J, Lesch KP.
Association analysis of the functional monoamine oxidase A gene promoter polymorphism in psychiatric disorders.
Am J Med Genet 2001 Mar 8;105(2):168-71
"Functional characterization studies revealed that transcriptional activity of the human monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene is modulated by a polymorphic repetitive sequence located approximately 1.2 kb upstream of the ATG codon. To investigate the possible influence of the allelic variants of the MAOA gene-linked polymorphic region (MAOA-LPR) on the genetic predisposition to psychiatric disorders, we have performed a case-control association study. 174 patients with affective disorders and 258 patients with schizophrenia according to DSM-IV, as well as 229 population controls were tested. Statistical analysis showed no significant differences in allele or genotype frequencies between control and patient groups. Our results suggest that there is no association between MAOA-LPR genotype and susceptibility to recurrent major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia in our population." [Abstract]

Qian Y, Lin S, Jiang S, Jiang K, Wu X, Tang G, Wang D.
Studies of the DXS7 polymorphism at the MAO loci in unipolar depression.
Am J Med Genet 1999 Dec 15;88(6):598-600
"From the fact that DXS7 polymorphism is closely related to monoamine oxidase (MAO) genes and MAO inhibitors are widely used in the treatment of unipolar depression, it is of particular interest to study the relationship between the DXS7 polymorphism and unipolar depression. Thus, this study examined the possible association between DXS7 polymorphism and unipolar depression in 66 cases versus 85 controls from Shanghai. Polymerase chain reaction and amplification fragment length polymorphism techniques were used for genotyping of the DXS7 locus in this study. Four alleles at the DXS7 locus were detected with length generated by polymerase chain reaction amplification ranging from 157 to 167 bp. Comparison of allele frequency in the DXS7 locus showed no difference between unipolar depression cases and normal controls in the total population set. When subclassified by age, a significant difference of allele frequency distribution was observed between early onset (before age 40) and late onset (after age 40) patients. The frequency of the 157-bp allele was decreased, whereas the frequency of the 165 allele was increased in late onset patients (0.3810 for the 157-bp allele and 0.5238 for the 165-bp allele) compared with that of early onset patients (0.6304 for the 157-bp allele and 0. 3261 for the 165-bp allele). There was also a difference of allele frequency between patients and normal controls with age over 40 years. The frequency of 165-bp allele increased significantly in late onset patients (0.5238) compared with that of controls within the same age range (0.3454). Association studies suggested that in the population with age over 40 years, presence of the 165-bp allele of DXS7 locus was significantly associated with unipolar depression (relative risk = 2.08, P < 0.05), whereas in the total population set, this association did not exist." [Abstract]

Serretti A, Cristina S, Lilli R, Cusin C, Lattuada E, Lorenzi C, Corradi B, Grieco G, Costa A, Santorelli F, Barale F, Nappi G, Smeraldi E.
Family-based association study of 5-HTTLPR, TPH, MAO-A, and DRD4 polymorphisms in mood disorders.
Am J Med Genet 2002 May 8;114(4):361-9
"Variants of the functional polymorphism in the serotonin transporter (upstream regulatory region: 5-HTTLPR), the tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), the monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A), and the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) genes have all been associated with mood disorders. The aim of this study was to test those hypotheses by using a family-based association approach. Both diagnoses and psychopathology were used for phenotype definitions. A total of 134 nuclear families with mood disorders, with probands affected by bipolar (n = 103) or major depressive (n = 58) disorders, were included in the study. All subjects were typed for the above-mentioned gene variants using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. No significant transmission disequilibrium was found in the overall sample for any polymorphism. A separate analysis of bipolar subjects only, or the use of continuous psychopathologic traits as affectation status did not influence the observed results. Our study did not support the involvement of 5-HTTLPR, TPH, MAO-A, or DRD4 polymorphisms in mood disorders." [Abstract]

Serretti A, Macciardi F, Cusin C, Verga M, Pedrini S, Smeraldi E.
Tyrosine hydroxylase gene in linkage disequilibrium with mood disorders.
Mol Psychiatry 1998 Mar;3(2):169-74
"We studied tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene variants in mood disorders using linkage disequilibrium techniques. One hundred and forty-five inpatients affected by bipolar (n = 88) and unipolar (n = 57) disorders, and 84 healthy controls, were typed for TH variants using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. TH was associated with mood disorder, with all affected subjects presenting an excess of TH*2 allele (chi 2 = 8.30, d.f. = 1; P = 0.004) and lack of the TH*1 allele (chi 2 = 6.90, d.f. = 1, P = 0.009). Linkage disequilibrium analyses confirmed the association. Our results suggest a moderate linkage disequilibrium of TH variants with mood disorders." [Abstract]

Furlong RA, Rubinsztein JS, Ho L, Walsh C, Coleman TA, Muir WJ, Paykel ES, Blackwood DH, Rubinsztein DC.
Analysis and metaanalysis of two polymorphisms within the tyrosine hydroxylase gene in bipolar and unipolar affective disorders.
Am J Med Genet 1999 Feb 5;88(1):88-94
"Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of dopamine and noradrenaline. While positive associations between TH and bipolar affective disorder have been found in several studies, many studies have failed to reproduce these results. In order to clarify this situation, association studies of bipolar and unipolar affective disorder groups and metaanalyses of published data on the TH tetranucleotide repeat polymorphism were done. The association studies used the TH tetranucleotide repeat polymorphism in intron 1 and a PstI polymorphism at the 3' end of the gene. The study comprised 124 unrelated bipolar patients, 126 unipolar patients, and 242 controls. There was no significant association of either bipolar or unipolar affective disorder with the TH tetranucleotide repeat polymorphism. However, a weak association (chi2 = 3.946, 1 df, P = 0.047; odds ratio, allele 2 vs. allele 1 = 0.71 (95% CI, 0.51-0.996)) was observed in the unipolar sample with the TH-PstI polymorphism. Three metaanalyses of published data on the TH tetranucleotide repeat polymorphism in major affective disorder were performed: bipolar I + II vs. control using 583 cases and 745 controls; unipolar vs. control using 204 cases and 359 controls; and bipolar + unipolar vs. control using 846 cases and 823 controls. In each analysis there was no association of the TH tetranucleotide repeat polymorphism and affective disorder. These results do not support the tyrosine hydroxylase gene having a major role in the etiology of bipolar affective disorder. However, our data suggest that this locus should be examined in larger samples of unipolar affective disorder." [Abstract]

Oruc L, Verheyen GR, Furac I, Jakovljevic M, Ivezic S, Raeymaekers P, Van Broeckhoven C.
Analysis of the tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine D4 receptor genes in a Croatian sample of bipolar I and unipolar patients.
Am J Med Genet 1997 Apr 18;74(2):176-8
"We selected 83 patients with bipolar disorder type I or unipolar recurrent major depression and 71 healthy controls for genetic analysis of the tyrosine hydroxylase and the dopamine D4 receptor gene. No significant association was found between bipolar disorder type I and unipolar recurrent major depression and the polymorphisms located near these genes. Therefore, the hypothesis that the tyrosine hydroxylase and the dopamine D4 receptor genes may be involved in the etiology of bipolar disorder and unipolar recurrent major depression is not supported in our study."

Buervenich S, Xiang F, Sydow O, Jonsson EG, Sedvall GC, Anvret M, Olson L.
Identification of four novel polymorphisms in the calcitonin/alpha-CGRP (CALCA) gene and an investigation of their possible associations with Parkinson disease, schizophrenia, and manic depression.
Hum Mutat 2001 May;17(5):435-6
"We identified novel polymorphisms in the calcitonin/CGRPalpha (CALCA) gene by direct sequencing of genomic DNA and subsequent genotyping by RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism) detection and investigated association with neurological or psychiatric disease. Four novel polymorphic alleles were found: two (g.979G>A and g.4218T>C) represented single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), one consisted of two coupled SNPs in close vicinity to each other (g.1210T>C and g.1214C>G), and one was an intronic 16-bp microdeletion (2919-2934del16). One of the SNPs (g.4218T>C) causes a non-synonymous amino acid change (Leu66Pro) in the third exon, an exon common to both procalcitonin and pro-alpha-CGRP. In a subsequent association study, frequencies of the identified polymorphisms in Parkinson and schizophrenia patients were compared with frequencies in the normal population. No statistically significant association was found in our material. The 16-bp microdeletion polymorphism was present in a family with multiple cases of unipolar or bipolar depressive disorder. Using this polymorphism as marker, cosegregation with the phenotype was observed in the majority of individuals." [Abstract]

Yamada K, Watanabe A, Iwayama-Shigeno Y, Yoshikawa T.
Evidence of association between gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor genes located on 5q34 and female patients with mood disorders.
Neurosci Lett. 2003 Sep 25;349(1):9-12.
"Pharmacological evidence suggests the involvement of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) perturbation in the etiology of mood disorders. A linkage study has detected chromosomal area 5q34, where GABA type A (GABA(A)) receptor subunit genes are mapped, as a susceptibility region for mood disorders, making these genes compelling candidates for such diseases. Our prior quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis of mouse depression models identified a QTL on mouse chromosome 11, a genomic region whose human synteny includes 5q34. This further supports a contribution from GABA(A) receptors to a predisposition towards mood disorder. In the present study, we examined GABA(A) receptor alpha1 (GABRA1), alpha6 (GABRA6) and gamma2 (GABRG2) subunit genes on 5q34. Polymorphisms on GABRA1 and GABRA6 genes displayed significant associations with mood disorders in female patients. These data offer genetic support for a role of GABA(A) receptor genes in susceptibility to mood disorders." x[Abstract]

Oruc L, Verheyen GR, Furac I, Ivezic S, Jakovljevic M, Raeymaekers P, Van Broeckhoven C.
Positive association between the GABRA5 gene and unipolar recurrent major depression.
Neuropsychobiology 1997;36(2):62-4
"The gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of mood disorders. To test this hypothesis we carried out an association study between a dinucleotide repeat polymorphism in the GABAA receptor alpha 5 subunit gene and bipolar and unipolar mood disorders. Our results suggest a possible involvement of this gene in unipolar but not in bipolar disorder." [Abstract]

Yu YW, Chen TJ, Hong CJ, Chen HM, Tsai SJ.
Association Study of the Interleukin-1beta (C-511T) Genetic Polymorphism with Major Depressive Disorder, Associated Symptomatology, and Antidepressant Response.
Neuropsychopharmacology 2003 Apr 2; [epub ahead of print]
"Proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1beta, are suggested to have a role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD) and be related to the therapeutic effects of antidepressants. To elucidate a genetic predisposition of MDD, we studied biallelic polymorphism in the promoter region (position -511) of the IL-1beta gene in 157 patients with MDD and in 112 controls. We also examined the association of this polymorphism and fluoxetine therapeutic response in 119 MDD patients who received a 4-week fluoxetine treatment. No significant difference was found in the genetic polymorphism between MDD patients and controls. However, MDD patients who were homozygous for the -511T allele of the IL-1beta gene had a trend of less severity of depressive symptoms and more favorable fluoxetine therapeutic response than -511C carriers. Further study with a larger sample is needed to clarify the role of the IL-1beta genetic polymorphisms in the symptoms and treatment effects in MDD." [Abstract]

Jun TY, Pae CU, Hoon-Han, Chae JH, Bahk WM, Kim KS, Serretti A.
Possible association between -G308A tumour necrosis factor-alpha gene polymorphism and major depressive disorder in the Korean population.
Psychiatr Genet. 2003 Sep;13(3):179-81.
"SUMMARY: OBJECTIVE The present study was aimed at examining the association between the -G308A tumour necrosis factor-alpha gene polymorphism and major depressive disorder (MDD) in the Korean population.METHODS One hundred and eight in-patients with MDD and 125 healthy controls participated in this study. Genotyping was performed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism.RESULTS Genotype and allele distributions in patients with MDD (P=0.024 and P=0.0125, respectively), were significantly different from those of the controls. In particular, subjects with MDD had an increased frequency of the TNF2 (A) allele.CONCLUSION The present study suggests that the -G308A tumour necrosis factor-alpha gene polymorphism may have a potential role for susceptibility to MDD in the Korean population." [Abstract]

Covault J, Pettinati H, Moak D, Mueller T, Kranzler HR
Association of a long-chain fatty acid-CoA ligase 4 gene polymorphism with depression and with enhanced niacin-induced dermal erythema.
Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2004 May 15;127(1):42-7.
Hypotheses about relationships between changes in membrane lipids and mental illness have focused primarily on three long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids: arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Membrane deficiencies of these fatty acids have been reported in schizophrenia (AA, EPA, and DHA) and in depression (EPA and DHA). Long-chain fatty acid-CoA ligase type 4 (FACL4; MIM 300157) is a key enzyme involved in the metabolism of AA, EPA, and DHA. FACL4 selectively esterifies these fatty acids with co-enzyme A, forming acyl-co-A, which can then be incorporated into membrane phospholipid. We used niacin-induced dermal erythema as one index of AA metabolism to identify a common C to T single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the first intron of the FACL4 gene (Xq22.3), which is associated with enhanced dermal erythema in both schizophrenia and control subjects. Male subjects with the T0 genotype showed greater dermal erythema following topical application of methylnicotinate, suggesting that this polymorphism may be in linkage disequilibrium with a functional polymorphism of the FACL4 gene that modulates re-sequestration of agonist-released free AA. We also examined the allele frequency of this polymorphism in 555 European-Americans (EA), including 229 control subjects, 198 subjects with major depression, 58 with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and 70 with alcohol dependence without co-morbid psychiatric illness. We observed a significant excess of the T allele in subjects with major depression, as compared with controls (49% vs. 38%; P = 0.003) and a non-significant excess of the T allele in schizophrenia (44%; P = 0.29). The allele frequency for subjects with alcohol dependence did not differ from controls. [Abstract]

Serretti A, Zanardi R, Franchini L, Artioli P, Dotoli D, Pirovano A, Smeraldi E
Pharmacogenetics of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor response: a 6-month follow-up.
Pharmacogenetics. 2004 Sep;14(9):607-13.
BACKGROUND: We previously reported the association between some genetic factors and short-term antidepressant outcome. In the present paper we investigated the same gene variants in a prospective 6-months naturalistic follow-up. METHODS: The sample included 185 inpatients affected by recurrent major depression consecutively admitted to the Psychiatric Inpatient Unit of San Raffaele Hospital from 1998 to 2003 and prospectively followed for 6 months after their recovery. All the patients were undertaking continuation therapy. The functional polymorphism in the upstream regulatory region of the serotonin transporter gene (SERTPR), the tryptophan hydroxylase A218C substitution, a VNTR polymorphism located 1.2 kb upstream of the monoamine oxidase-A coding sequences, the CLOCK gene T3111C and the PER3exon15 gene T1940G substitutions were analysed, using PCR-based techniques. RESULTS: No association was found between clinical variables and relapses; subjects showing TT genotype at CLOCK gene tended to relapse within 6 months after recovery more than TC and CC subjects taken together. A non-significant tendency of SERTPR*s/s subjects to a minor frequency of relapse was also observed. CONCLUSION: Some subjects showing remission after acute treatment relapsed within 6 months, despite undertaking a maintenance treatment; the causes could be heterogeneous, but CLOCK gene variants may influence the outcome. [Abstract]

Zubenko GS, Maher BS, Hughes HB, Zubenko WN, Scott Stiffler J, Marazita ML
Genome-wide linkage survey for genetic loci that affect the risk of suicide attempts in families with recurrent, early-onset, major depression.
Am J Med Genet. 2004 Aug 15;129B(1):47-54.
We previously described the results of a genome-wide linkage survey for genetic loci that influenced the development of unipolar mood disorders in 81 families identified by individuals with Recurrent, Early-Onset, Major Depressive Disorder (RE-MDD) [Zubenko et al. 2003b; Am J Med Genet (Neuropsychiatr Genet) 123B:1-18]. In the current study, we extended this linkage analysis by including the history of a suicide attempt as a covariate to identify chromosomal regions that harbor genes that influence the risk of this behavior in the context of mood disorders. This approach identified six linkage peaks with maximum multipoint DeltaLOD scores that reached genome-wide adjusted levels of significance (2p, 5q, 6q, 8p, 11q, and Xq). Four of these (2p, 6q, 8p, and Xq) exceeded the criterion for "highly-significant linkage" (genome-wide adjusted P < 0.001) recommended by Lander and Kruglyak [1995; Nat Genet 11:241-246]. The strongest evidence for linkage was observed in analyses employing affected relative pairs (ARPs) with the most severe and disabling Mood Disorders: Depression Spectrum Disorder and RE-MDD. The highest DeltaLOD score that emerged from this linkage analysis, 5.08, occurred for ARPs with Depression Spectrum Disorder at D8S1145 (37.0 cM, 18.2 Mbps, P < 0.0001) at cytogenetic location 8p22-p21. Significant linkage results on Xq arose from analyses of ARPs with RE-MDD at DXS1047 (143 cM, 127.8 Mbps, DeltaLOD = 3.87, P < 0.0001), a finding that may contribute to the higher rate of suicide attempts among women than men. These findings provide evidence for suicide risk loci that are independent of susceptibility loci for Mood Disorders, and suggest that the capacity for suicide risk loci to affect the development of suicidal behavior depends on the psychiatric disorder or subtype with which they interact. [Abstract]

Pae CU, Yu HS, Kim TS, Lee CU, Lee SJ, Jun TY, Lee C, Serretti A, Paik IH
Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP1) promoter -2518 polymorphism may confer a susceptibility to major depressive disorder in the Korean population.
Psychiatry Res. 2004 Jul 15;127(3):279-81.
We conducted a case-control association study of the monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP1) gene -2518 polymorphism in 90 patients with major depressive disorder. Genotyping was performed by polymerase chain reaction methods. We found significant differences in genotype and allele frequencies. The present study suggests that this polymorphism may confer a susceptibility to major depressive disorder in the Korean population. [Abstract]

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Recent Unipolar Depression Genetic Research

1) Brown GW, Ban M, Craig TK, Harris TO, Herbert J, Uher R
Depress Anxiety. 2012 Jul 27;
BACKGROUND: Key questions about the interaction between the serotonin transporter length polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and stress in the etiology of depression remain unresolved. We test the hypotheses that the interaction is restricted to childhood maltreatment (as opposed to stressful events in adulthood), and leads to chronic depressive episodes (as opposed to any onset of depression), using gold-standard assessments of childhood maltreatment, severe life events, chronic depression, and new depressive onsets. METHOD: In a risk-enriched sample of 273 unrelated women, childhood maltreatment was retrospectively assessed with the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse (CECA) interview and 5-HTTLPR was genotyped. A subset of 220 women was followed prospectively for 12 months with life events assessed with the Life Events and Difficulties (LEDS) interview. Any chronic episode of depression (12 months or longer) during adulthood and onset of a major depressive episode during a 12-month follow-up were established with the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN) interview. RESULTS: The short alleles of 5-HTTLPR moderated the relationship between childhood maltreatment and chronic depression in adulthood, reflected in a significant gene-environment interaction (RD = 0.226, 95% CI: 0.076-0.376, P = .0032). 5-HTTLPR did not moderate the effects of either childhood maltreatment or severe life events on new depressive onsets. CONCLUSIONS: The short variant of the serotonin transporter gene specifically sensitizes to the effect of early-life experience of abuse or neglect on whether an adult depressive episode takes a chronic course. This interaction may be responsible for a substantial proportion of cases of chronic depression in the general population. Depression and Anxiety 00:1-9, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

2) Herbert J, Ban M, Brown GW, Harris TO, Ogilvie A, Uher R, Craig TK
Interaction between the BDNF gene Val/66/Met polymorphism and morning cortisol levels as a predictor of depression in adult women.
Br J Psychiatry. 2012 Jul 26;
BACKGROUND: Common genetic variants, such as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val/66/Met polymorphism (rs6265), are known to interact with environmental factors such as early adversity to increase the risk of subsequent major depression. Much less is known about how they interact with individual differences in cortisol, although these also represent a risk for major depression. AIMS: To determine whether this BDNF variant moderated the risk represented by higher levels of morning salivary cortisol in adult women. METHOD: We recruited 279 premenopausal women who were at high risk of major depressive disorder because of either negative self-evaluation, unsupportive core relationship or chronic subclinical symptoms of depression or anxiety. Morning salivary cortisol was measured daily for up to 10 days at entry. Participants were followed up for about 12 months by telephone calls at 3-4 monthly intervals. Major depression and severe life events were assessed through interviews at baseline and follow-up; DNA was obtained from the saliva. RESULTS: There were 53 onsets (19%) of depressive episodes during follow-up. There was a significant U-shaped relationship between adjusted morning cortisol levels at baseline and the probability of depression onset during follow-up. In total, 51% experienced at least one severe life event/difficulty, and this strongly predicted subsequent onsets of depressive episodes. The BDNF Val/66/Met genotype was not directly associated with onsets of depression or with cortisol levels, but there was significant interaction between Val/66/Met and cortisol: the association between baseline cortisol and depression was limited to those with the Val/66/Val variant. There was no interaction between life events and either this BDNF polymorphism or cortisol levels. CONCLUSIONS: Morning salivary cortisol interacts with the BDNF Val/66/Met polymorphism in predicting new depressive episodes. This paper adds to the evidence that single gene polymorphisms interact with endogenous factors to predict depression. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

3) Fisher HL, Cohen-Woods S, Hosang GM, Korszun A, Owen M, Craddock N, Craig IW, Farmer AE, McGuffin P, Uher R
Interaction between specific forms of childhood maltreatment and the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTT) in recurrent depressive disorder.
J Affect Disord. 2012 Jul 25;
BACKGROUND: There is inconsistent evidence of interaction between stressful events and a serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) in depression. Recent studies have indicated that the moderating effect of 5-HTTLPR may be strongest when adverse experiences have occurred in childhood and the depressive symptoms persist over time. However, it is unknown whether this gene-environment interaction is present for recurrent depressive disorder and different forms of maltreatment. Therefore, patients with recurrent clinically diagnosed depression and controls screened for the absence of depression were utilised to examine the moderating effect of 5-HTTLPR on associations between specific forms of childhood adversity and recurrent depression. METHOD: A sample of 227 recurrent unipolar depression cases and 228 never psychiatrically ill controls completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire to assess exposure to sexual, physical and emotional abuse, physical and emotional neglect in childhood. DNA extracted from blood or cheek swabs was genotyped for the short (s) and long (l) alleles of 5-HTTLPR. RESULTS: All forms of childhood maltreatment were reported as more severe by cases than controls. There was no direct association between 5-HTTLPR and depression. Significant interactions with additive and recessive 5-HTTLPR genetic models were found for overall severity of maltreatment, sexual abuse and to a lesser degree for physical neglect, but not other maltreatment types. LIMITATIONS: The cross-sectional design limits causal inference. Retrospective report of childhood adversity may have reduced the accuracy of the findings. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides support for the role of interplay between 5-HTTLPR and a specific early environmental risk in recurrent depressive disorder. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

4) Edgar N, Sibille E
A putative functional role for oligodendrocytes in mood regulation.
Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Feb 21;2:e109.
Altered glial structure and function is implicated in several major mental illnesses and increasing evidence specifically links changes in oligodendrocytes with disrupted mood regulation. Low density and reduced expression of oligodendrocyte-specific gene transcripts in postmortem human subjects points toward decreased oligodendrocyte function in most of the major mental illnesses. Similar features are observed in rodent models of stress-induced depressive-like phenotypes, such as the unpredictable chronic mild stress and chronic corticosterone exposure, suggesting an effect downstream from stress. However, whether oligodendrocyte changes are a causal component of psychiatric phenotypes is not known. Traditional views that identify oligodendrocytes solely as nonfunctional support cells are being challenged, and recent studies suggest a more dynamic role for oligodendrocytes in neuronal functioning than previously considered, with the region adjacent to the node of Ranvier (i.e., paranode) considered a critical region of glial-neuronal interaction. Here, we briefly review the current knowledge regarding oligodendrocyte disruptions in psychiatric disorders and related animal models, with a focus on major depression. We then highlight several rodent studies, which suggest that alterations in oligodendrocyte structure and function can produce behavioral changes that are informative of mood regulatory mechanisms. Together, these studies suggest a model, whereby impaired oligodendrocyte and possibly paranode structure and function can impact neural circuitry, leading to downstream effects related to emotionality in rodents, and potentially to mood regulation in human psychiatric disorders. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

5) Woudstra S, Bochdanovits Z, van Tol MJ, Veltman DJ, Zitman FG, van Buchem MA, van der Wee NJ, Opmeer EM, Demenescu LR, Aleman A, Penninx BW, Hoogendijk WJ
Piccolo genotype modulates neural correlates of emotion processing but not executive functioning.
Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Feb 21;2:e99.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by affective symptoms and cognitive impairments, which have been associated with changes in limbic and prefrontal activity as well as with monoaminergic neurotransmission. A genome-wide association study implicated the polymorphism rs2522833 in the piccolo (PCLO) gene-involved in monoaminergic neurotransmission-as a risk factor for MDD. However, the role of the PCLO risk allele in emotion processing and executive function or its effect on their neural substrate has never been studied. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate PCLO risk allele carriers vs noncarriers during an emotional face processing task and a visuospatial planning task in 159 current MDD patients and healthy controls. In PCLO risk allele carriers, we found increased activity in the left amygdala during processing of angry and sad faces compared with noncarriers, independent of psychopathological status. During processing of fearful faces, the PCLO risk allele was associated with increased amygdala activation in MDD patients only. During the visuospatial planning task, we found no genotype effect on performance or on BOLD signal in our predefined areas as a function of increasing task load. The PCLO risk allele was found to be specifically associated with altered emotion processing, but not with executive dysfunction. Moreover, the PCLO risk allele appears to modulate amygdala function during fearful facial processing in MDD and may constitute a possible link between genotype and susceptibility for depression via altered processing of fearful stimuli. The current results may therefore aid in better understanding underlying neurobiological mechanisms in MDD. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

6) Frodl T, Carballedo A, Hughes MM, Saleh K, Fagan A, Skokauskas N, McLoughlin DM, Meaney J, O'Keane V, Connor TJ
Reduced expression of glucocorticoid-inducible genes GILZ and SGK-1: high IL-6 levels are associated with reduced hippocampal volumes in major depressive disorder.
Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Feb 21;2:e88.
Neuroplasticity may have a core role in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD), a concept supported by experimental studies that found that excessive cortisol secretion and/or excessive production of inflammatory cytokines impairs neuronal plasticity and neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The objective of this study was to examine how changes in the glucocorticoid and inflammatory systems may affect hippocampal volumes in MDD. A multimodal approach with structural neuroimaging of hippocampus and amygdala, measurement of peripheral inflammatory proteins interleukin (IL)-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP), glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression, and expression of glucocorticoid-inducible genes (glucocorticoid-inducible genes Leucin Zipper (GILZ) and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase-1 (SGK-1)) was used in 40 patients with MDD and 43 healthy controls (HC). Patients with MDD showed smaller hippocampal volumes and increased inflammatory proteins IL-6 and CRP compared with HC. Childhood maltreatment was associated with increased CRP. Patients with MDD, who had less expression of the glucocorticoid-inducible genes GILZ or SGK-1 had smaller hippocampal volumes. Regression analysis showed a strong positive effect of GILZ and SGK-1 mRNA expression, and further inverse effects of IL-6 concentration, on hippocampal volumes. These findings suggest that childhood maltreatment, peripheral inflammatory and glucocorticoid markers and hippocampal volume are interrelated factors in the pathophysiology of MDD. Glucocorticoid-inducible genes GILZ and SGK-1 might be promising candidate markers for hippocampal volume changes relevant for diseases like MDD. Further studies need to explore the possible clinical usefulness of such a blood biomarker, for example, for diagnosis or prediction of therapy response. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

7) Singh YS, Altieri SC, Gilman TL, Michael HM, Tomlinson ID, Rosenthal SJ, Swain GM, Murphey-Corb MA, Ferrell RE, Andrews AM
Differential serotonin transport is linked to the rh5-HTTLPR in peripheral blood cells.
Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Feb 21;2:e77.
The human serotonin transporter (SERT) gene possesses a 43-base pair (bp) insertion-deletion promoter polymorphism, the h5-HTTLPR. Genotype at this locus correlates with variation in anxiety-related personality traits and risk for major depressive disorder in many studies. Yet, the complex effects of the h5-HTTLPR, in combination with closely associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), continue to be debated. Moreover, although SERT is of high clinical significance, transporter function in vivo remains difficult to assess. Rhesus express a promoter polymorphism related to the h5-HTTLPR. The rh5-HTTLPR has been linked to differences in stress-related behavior and cognitive flexibility, although allelic variations in serotonin uptake have not been investigated. We studied the serotonin system as it relates to the 5-HTTLPR in rhesus peripheral blood cells. Sequencing of the rh5-HTTLPR revealed a 23-bp insertion, which is somewhat longer than originally reported. Consistent with previous reports, no SNPs in the rh5-HTTLPR and surrounding genomic regions were detected in the individuals studied. Reductions in serotonin uptake rates, cell surface SERT binding, and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid/serotonin ratios, but not SERT mRNA levels, were associated with the rh5-HTTLPR short allele. Thus, serotonin uptake rates are differentiable with respect to the 5-HTTLPR in an easily accessible native peripheral tissue. In light of these findings, we foresee that primary blood cells, in combination with high sensitivity functional measurements enabled by chronoamperometry, will be important for investigating alterations in serotonin uptake associated with genetic variability and antidepressant responsiveness in humans. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

8) Mitjans M, Gastó C, Catalán R, Fańanás L, Arias B
Genetic variability in the endocannabinoid system and 12-week clinical response to citalopram treatment: the role of the CNR1, CNR2 and FAAH genes.
J Psychopharmacol. 2012 Jul 23;
First line treatment of major depression is based on selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that enhance serotonergic neurotransmission by blocking the serotonin transporter. However, clinical response is a complex phenomenon in which other systems such as the endocannabinoid system could be involved. Given the evidence for the role of the endocannabinoid system in the pathogenesis of depression as well as in the mediation of antidepressant drug effects, the aim of this study was to analyze genetic variability in the endocannabinoid system genes (CNR1, CNR2 and FAAH genes) and their role in clinical response (at week 4) and remission (at week 12) in SSRI (citalopram) treatment in a sample of 154 depressive outpatients, all of Spanish origin. All patients were treated with citalopram and followed over 12 weeks. Severity of depressive symptomatology was evaluated by means of the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Score (HDRS). No differences were found in any of the genotype distributions according to response or remission. The longitudinal study showed that (i) the CNR1 rs1049353-GG genotype conferred a better response to citalopram treatment in the subgroup of male patients and (ii) G allele carriers (CNR2 rs2501431) presented higher HDRS scores in the follow-up than AA homozygous allele carriers. Our results seem to suggest the involvement of CNR1 and CNR2 genes in clinical responses to citalopram treatment. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

9) Albert PR
Transcriptional regulation of the 5-HT1A receptor: implications for mental illness.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012 Sep 5;367(1601):2402-15.
The serotonin-1A (5-HT(1A)) receptor is an abundant post-synaptic 5-HT receptor (heteroreceptor) implicated in regulation of mood, emotion and stress responses and is the major somatodendritic autoreceptor that negatively regulates 5-HT neuronal activity. Based on animal models, an integrated model for opposing roles of pre- and post-synaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors in anxiety and depression phenotypes and response to antidepressants is proposed. Understanding differential transcriptional regulation of pre- versus post-synaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors could provide better tools for their selective regulation. This review examines the transcription factors that regulate brain region-specific basal and stress-induced expression of the 5-HT(1A) receptor gene (Htr1a). A functional polymorphism, rs6295 in the Htr1a promoter region, blocks the function of specific repressors Hes1, Hes5 and Deaf1, resulting in increased 5-HT(1A) autoreceptor expression in animal models and humans. Its association with altered 5-HT(1A) expression, depression, anxiety and antidepressant response are related to genotype frequency in different populations, sample homogeneity, disease outcome measures and severity. Preliminary evidence from gene × environment studies suggests the potential for synergistic interaction of stress-mediated repression of 5-HT(1A) heteroreceptors, and rs6295-induced upregulation of 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors. Targeted therapeutics to inhibit 5-HT(1A) autoreceptor expression and induce 5-HT(1A) heteroreceptor expression may ameliorate treatment of anxiety and major depression. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

10) Jia P, Kao CF, Kuo PH, Zhao Z
A comprehensive network and pathway analysis of candidate genes in major depressive disorder.
BMC Syst Biol. 2011 Dec 23;5 Suppl 3:S12.
[PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

11) Zill P, Baghai TC, Schüle C, Born C, Früstück C, Büttner A, Eisenmenger W, Varallo-Bedarida G, Rupprecht R, Möller HJ, Bondy B
DNA Methylation Analysis of the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Gene in Major Depression.
PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40479.
[PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

12) Vyas NS, Puri BK
Evidence for an Association between Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Val66Met Gene Polymorphism and General Intellectual Ability in Early-Onset Schizophrenia.
Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2012;49(2):137-42.
Background: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a crucial role in the survival, development and maintenance of neuronal systems, and the Val66Met polymorphism has been implicated in memory functions. Method: We examined the association of BDNF with general intellectual ability in 161 individuals including 53 early-onset patients with schizophrenia (EOS), 91 healthy biological relatives, and 17 relatives with major depressive disorder (MDD), using the Wechsler Intelligence Scales (WISC). Results: Regardless of diagnosis, individuals with the Met66 allele had a significantly higher performance score than those homozygous for Val66 on vocabulary, block design and object assembly subtests of the WISC. EOS probands showed poor performance on all IQ subtests compared with relatives with and without MDD. Limitations: Relatively smaller sample size of individual genotypes. Conclusions: BDNF genotype may play a role in specific cognitive functions and dimensions of intelligence. The Met allele appears to be associated with superior performance in IQ compared with relatives Val/Val genotype. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

13) Bader V, Tomppo L, Trossbach SV, Bradshaw NJ, Prikulis I, Leliveld SR, Lin CY, Ishizuka K, Sawa A, Ramos A, Rosa I, García A, Requena JR, Hipolito M, Rai N, Nwulia E, Henning U, Ferrea S, Luckhaus C, Ekelund J, Veijola J, Järvelin MR, Hennah W, Korth C
Proteomic, genomic and translational approaches identify CRMP1 for a role in schizophrenia and its underlying traits.
Hum Mol Genet. 2012 Jul 13;
Schizophrenia is a chronic illness of heterogenous biological origin. We hypothesized that, similar to chronic progressive brain conditions, persistent functional disturbances of neurons would result in disturbed proteostasis in the brains of schizophrenia patients, leading to increased abundance of specific misfolded, insoluble proteins. Identification of such proteins would facilitate the elucidation of molecular processes underlying these devastating conditions. We therefore generated antibodies against pooled insoluble proteome of post mortem brains from schizophrenia patients in order to identify unique, disease-specific epitopes. We successfully identified such an epitope to be present on collapsin-response mediator protein 1 (CRMP1) in biochemically purified, insoluble brain fractions. A genetic association analysis for the CRMP1 gene in a large Finnish population cohort (n = 4651) corroborated association of physical and social anhedonia with the CRMP1 locus in a DISC1-dependent manner. Physical and social anhedonia are heritable traits, present as chronic negative symptoms of schizophrenia and severe major depression thus constituting a serious vulnerability factor for mental disease. Strikingly, lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from schizophrenia patients mirrored aberrant CRMP1 immunoreactivity by showing an increase of CRMP1 expression, suggesting its potential role of a blood-based diagnostic marker. CRMP1 is a novel candidate protein for schizophrenia traits at the intersection of the reelin and DISC1 pathways that directly and functionally interacts with DISC1. We demonstrate the impact of an interdisciplinary approach where the identification of disease-associated epitope in post mortem brains, powered by a genetic association study is rapidly translated into a potential blood-based diagnostic marker. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

14) Wang Y, Liu X, Yu Y, Han Y, Wei J, Collier D, Li T, Ma X
The role of single nucleotide polymorphism of D(2) dopamine receptor gene on major depressive disorder and response to antidepressant treatment.
Psychiatry Res. 2012 Jul 13;
The study analyzed the effect of dopamine 2 receptor gene (DRD2) polymorphism on the risk for major depressive disorder (MDD) and the response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The results suggest that the DRD2 gene may play a role on MDD susceptibility and the onset-time of antidepressant response. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

15) Yang Z, Ma X, Wang Y, Wang J, Xiang B, Wu J, Deng W, Li M, Wang Q, Li T
Association of APC and REEP5 gene polymorphisms with major depression disorder and treatment response to antidepressants in a Han Chinese population.
Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2012 Jul 12;
OBJECTIVE: Despite the high prevalence of depression and its considerable impact on the population, knowledge about the pathogenesis of the illness and the antidepressant treatment response is still unknown. METHODS: A total of 397 patients with major depression disorder (MDD) and 473 normal controls were employed in the present research. Twelve single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) and receptor accessory protein (REEP5) genes were selected for genotyping using the GoldenGate genotyping assay. A total of 165 MDD patients completed a 6-week antidepressant treatment. Responders were defined as patients with at least a 50% reduction in Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression total scores posttreatment. RESULTS: Two SNPs (rs2464805 and rs563556) within the APC gene exhibited a statistically significant association with MDD when analyzed by genotype and allele frequencies. Three SNPs (rs495794, rs153549 and rs153560) in the REEP5 gene showed significant statistical differences between the responders and nonresponders. CONCLUSIONS: The APC gene may be one of the susceptibility genes for MDD as well as a genetic link between psychiatric disease and cancer. REEP5 gene polymorphisms may influence antidepressant treatment response in MDD. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

16) Blazquez A, Mas S, Plana MT, Lafuente A, Lázaro L
Fluoxetine pharmacogenetics in child and adult populations.
Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2012 Jul 12;
Although fluoxetine is useful in the treatment of major depression, 30-40 % of the patients do not respond to therapy. The response seems to be influenced by certain genes which are involved in the drug's pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. The present study reviews the literature on genetic contributions to fluoxetine response in children and adults, and concludes that the different polymorphisms of CYP2D6 and CYP2C9 may influence the blood concentrations of fluoxetine. If the childhood dose is adjusted for weight, differences between children and adults are unlikely. As regards the genes that influence the drug's pharmacodynamics, polymorphisms of SLC6A4, HTR1A and MAO-A seem to be involved in the response to fluoxetine, while the genes COMT, CRHR1, PDEA1, PDEA11 GSK3B and serpin-1 also seem to play a role. Comparison of different studies reveals that the results are not always consistent, probably due to methodological differences. Other factors such as gender or ethnicity may also influence treatment response. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

17) Mischoulon D, Lamon-Fava S, Selhub J, Katz J, Papakostas GI, Iosifescu DV, Yeung AS, Dording CM, Farabaugh AH, Clain AJ, Baer L, Alpert JE, Nierenberg AA, Fava M
Prevalence of MTHFR C677T and MS A2756G polymorphisms in major depressive disorder, and their impact on response to fluoxetine treatment.
CNS Spectr. 2012 Jun;17(2):76-86.
[PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

18) Lagus M, Gass N, Saharinen J, Savelyev S, Porkka-Heiskanen T, Paunio T
Inter-tissue Networks Between the Basal Forebrain, Hippocampus, and Prefrontal Cortex in a Model for Depression Caused by Disturbed Sleep.
J Neurogenet. 2012 Jul 11;
Disturbances in sleep are encountered in the majority of patients with depressive disorder. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms behind this relationship, we examined gene expression changes in a rodent model for disturbed sleep and depression. The animals were treated with daily injections of clomipramine to affect their sleep during early infancy. This early interference with sleep is known to induce depression-like behavior in adult animals. After 2 weeks of treatment, the change in gene expression was examined using the Affymetrix Rat 230.2 chip. We studied the gene expression in the basal forebrain, hippocampus, and frontal cortex and combined the results to reveal the otherwise indissectible networks between and around the tissues. The major disrupted pathways between the three brain areas were related to synaptic transmission, regulation of translation, and ubiquitinylation. The involved pathways were within the cellular components of the axons, growth cones, melanosomes, and pigment granules. A network analysis allowing for additional interactors, in the form of chemicals or gene products, revealed a disturbed communicational network between the different brain areas. This disturbed network is centered around serotonin, Mn(II), and Rhoa. The findings elucidate inter-tissue pathways and networks in the brain that are involved in sleep and mood regulation. The findings are of uttermost interest, some are quite predictable and obvious, but some are novel or have only been proposed by rare theoretical speculations (such as the melanosome and Mn(II) involvement). Equally important as the findings are the methods described in this article. In this study, we present two novel simple ways to perform system biological analysis based on gene expression array data. We used two already existing tools in a new way, and by careful planning of the input data, managed to extrapolate intricate hidden inter-tissue networks to build a molecular picture of disease. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

19) Dunlop BW, Binder EB, Cubells JF, Goodman MG, Kelley ME, Kinkead B, Kutner M, Nemeroff CB, Newport DJ, Owens MJ, Pace TW, Ritchie JC, Aponte Rivera V, Westen D, Craighead WE, Mayberg HS
Predictors of Remission in Depression to Individual and Combined Treatments (PReDICT): Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.
Trials. 2012 Jul 9;13(1):106.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Limited controlled data exist to guide treatment choices for clinicians caring for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Although many putative predictors of treatment response have been reported, most were identified through retrospective analyses of existing datasets and very few have been replicated in a manner that can impact clinical practice. One major confound in previous studies examining predictors of treatment response is the patient's treatment history, which may affect both the predictor of interest and treatment outcomes. Moreover, prior treatment history provides an important source of selection bias, thereby limiting generalizability. Consequently, we initiated a randomized clinical trial designed to identify factors that moderate response to three treatments for MDD among patients never treated previously for the condition. METHODS: Treatment-naive adults aged 18-65 years with moderate-to-severe, non-psychotic MDD are randomized equally to one of three 12-week treatment arms: 1) cognitive behavior therapy (CBT, 16 sessions), 2) duloxetine (30-60 mg/d), or 3) escitalopram (10-20 mg/d). Prior to randomization, patients undergo multiple assessments, including resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), immune markers, DNA and gene expression products, and dexamethasone-corticotropin releasing hormone (Dex/CRH) testing. Prior to or shortly after randomization, patients also complete a comprehensive personality assessment. Repeat assessment of the biological measures (fMRI, immune markers, and gene expression products) occur at an early time-point in treatment, and upon completion of 12-week treatment, when a a second Dex/CRH test is also conducted, Patients remitting by the end of this acute treatment phase are then eligible to enter a 21-month follow-up phase, with quarterly visits to monitor for recurrence. Non-remitters are offered augmentation treatment for a second 12-week course of treatment, during which they receive a combination of CBT and antidepressant medication. Predictors of the primary outcome, remission, will be identified for overall and treatment-specific effects, and a statistical model incorporating multiple predictors will be developed to predict outcomes. DISCUSSION: The PReDICT study's evaluation of biological, psychological, and clinical factors that may differentially impact treatment outcomes represents a sizeable step toward developing personalized treatments for MDD. Identified predictors should help guide the selection of initial treatments, and identify those patients most vulnerable to recurrence, who thus warrant maintenance or combination treatments to achieve and maintain wellness. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

20) Kishi T, Ichinose H, Yoshimura R, Fukuo Y, Kitajima T, Inada T, Kunugi H, Kato T, Yoshikawa T, Ujike H, Musso GM, Umene-Nakano W, Nakamura J, Ozaki N, Iwata N
GTP cyclohydrolase 1 gene haplotypes as predictors of SSRI response in Japanese patients with major depressive disorder.
J Affect Disord. 2012 Jul 5;
BACKGROUND: Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) plays an important role in the biosynthesis of serotonin, melatonin and catecholamines, all of which are implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders (MDs), including major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BP). Production of BH4 is regulated by GTP cyclohydrolase transcription and activity. Thus, we considered the GTP cyclohydrolase gene (GCH1) to be a good candidate gene in the pathophysiology of MDs and of the serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) response in MDD, and conducted a case-control study utilizing three SNPs (rs8007267, rs3783641 and rs841) and moderate sample sizes (405 MDD patients, including 262 patients treated by SSRIs, 1022 BP patients and 1805 controls). METHOD: A multiple logistic regression analysis was carried out to compare the frequencies of each SNP genotype for the target phenotype across patients and controls in several genetic models, while adjusting for possible confounding factors. A clinical response was defined as a decrease of more than 50% from the baseline score on the Structured Interview Guide for Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (SIGH-D) within 8 weeks, and clinical remission as a SIGH-D score of less than 7 at 8 weeks. RESULT: No associations between three SNPs in GCH1 and MDD or BP were observed; however, GCH1 was associated with SSRI therapeutic response in MDD in all the marker's haplotype analysis (Global P value=0.0379). CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that GCH1 may predict response to SSRI in MDD in the Japanese population. Nevertheless, a replication study using larger samples may be required for conclusive results, since our sample size was small. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]