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5-HTTLPR Polymorphism of the Serotonin Transporter Gene Predicts Non-Remission in Major Depression Patients Treated With Citalopram in a 12-Weeks Follow Up Study

Arias, Bárbara BSc*; Catalán, Rosa PhD, MD‡§; Gastó, Cristóbal PhD, MD‡§; Gutiérrez, Blanca BSc, PhD*†; Fañanás, Lourdes BSc, PhD, MD*

Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology: December 2003 - Volume 23 - Issue 6 - p 563-567
doi: 10.1097/01.jcp.0000095350.32154.73
Original Contributions
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In the context of a long term follow-up study, we analysed the possible implication of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism at the serotonin transporter gene in clinical response and remission of major depressive patients treated with citalopram. The sample consisted of 131 patients, all of Spanish origin, diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. A 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was used to evaluate severity of the symptoms during the follow-up and to determine clinical response and remission condition of the patients at 4th and 12th week, respectively. Our results showed that S/S genotype of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism was associated with the non-Remission condition at 12th week (χ2 = 8.7, P = 0.013). Moreover, homozygous for the allele S presented three times more risk for non reaching remission of depressive episode after citalopram treatment than patients with any other 5-HTTLPR genotype combination (χ2: 7.29, P = 0.006; OR = 3.23 [95%CI: 1.24–8.5]). In conclusion, our results show that genetic variation of serotonin transporter is involved in clinical remission of major depressive episodes after twelve weeks of citalopram treatment.

*Unitat d´Antropologia, Departament de Biologia Animal, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona;

†Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica, Universitat de Barcelona;

‡Centre de Salut Mental Esquerre de l´Eixample, Hospital Clínic i Provincial de Barcelona;

§Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica Agustí Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS).

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Lourdes Fañanás, BSc, PhD, MD, Unitat d´Antropologia, Departament de Biologia Animal, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain. E-mail: lfananas@ub.edu.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.