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Neuropsychobiology. 2005;52(2):55-61. Epub 2005 Jun 29.

Promoter polymorphisms of the interferon-alpha receptor gene and development of Interferon-induced depressive symptoms in patients with chronic hepatitis C: preliminary findings.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga., USA.



Interferon (IFN)-alpha treatment frequently induces depression, which can impair quality of life and reduce treatment adherence. Defining relevant risk factors for IFN-alpha-induced depression is essential for designing preventative treatment strategies.


The purpose of the present study was to determine whether promoter polymorphisms of -408C/T, -3C/T and GT repeat dinucleotide microsatellite in the IFN-alpha/beta receptor 1 (IFNAR1) gene are associated with the development of IFN-induced depression.


Fifty patients with chronic hepatitis C were treated with pegylated IFN alpha-2b plus a standard or weight-based dose of ribavirin. Severity of depression was assessed using the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) at baseline and at 4, 8, 12 and 24 weeks of treatment.


The baseline to maximum difference in the SDS index score of neurovegetative/somatic symptoms was higher in patients with the 5/14 genotype of the GT repeat dinucleotide microsatellite polymorphism than in those patients with other genotypes (p = 0.0084).


This preliminary result suggests that the promoter GT repeat dinucleotide microsatellite polymorphism of the IFNAR1 gene may represent a risk factor for the development of depressive symptoms during IFN-alpha therapy for hepatitis C and other conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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