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Variations in Gene Linked to Depression Remission

Differences in remission rates in whites treated with citalopram associated with two variations

MONDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Variations in the SLC6A4 gene are associated with remission of depressive symptoms in white non-Hispanic adults taking citalopram, according to research published online July 10 in the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B.

David A. Mrazek, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues analyzed data from 1,914 adults with major depressive disorder who were treated with citalopram. When evaluating the effect of variations in the SLC6A4 serotonin transporter gene, the investigators focused on the VNTR variation of the second intron, the indel promoter polymorphism, and the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs25531.

In white non-Hispanics, variations in the intron 2 VNTR were associated with differences in remission rates after treatment with citalopram, but significant associations were not found between VNTR genotypes and remission in blacks or white Hispanics, the researchers report. White non-Hispanics were also more likely to have remission if they carried two copies of the more active long form of the indel variation. However, genotype at the rs25531 SNP wasn't associated with remission in any of the groups.

"These analyses demonstrate an association between remission of depressive symptoms and both the VNTR12/12 genotype in intron 2 and the indel promoter variant in white non-Hispanic subjects who have been treated with citalopram. These findings support previously reported positive associations between variations of SLC6A4 and positive response to other SSRIs in subjects of European origin," the authors conclude.

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