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Keywords:

  • serotonin transporter;
  • tryptophan hydroxylase;
  • SSRI;
  • depression;
  • treatment response;
  • pharmacogenetics

Abstract

We reported an independent association of the short variant of the serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphic region (SERTPR) and tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) genes with antidepressant response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The aim of the present study was to confirm the effect of the SERTPR and TPH gene variants on the SSRIs antidepressant activity in a new sample of major and bipolar depressives. Two hundred and twenty one inpatients (major depressives = 128, bipolar disorder = 93) were treated with SSRIs (fluvoxamine or paroxetine) for 6 weeks; the severity of depressive symptoms was weekly assessed with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD). SERTPR and TPH variants were determined using PCR-based techniques, 220 subjects genotyped for SERTPR and 221 for TPH that were never included in previous studies. SERTPR*s/s variant association with a poor response to SSRI treatment was confirmed, even if with less significant P values (P = 0.034), independently from clinical variables; pooling the present sample with previous ones we observed a highly significant effect (P < 0.000001). TPH*A/A variants showed higher HAMD scores throughout the trial but with only a trend in the same direction of our previous study in terms of a worse response of A/A genotypes. Thus, the previous positive association was not fully replicated for TPH. The present independent replication confirms SERTPR variants as a liability factor for antidepressant efficacy while the TPH effect is not unequivocal. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.