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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Jun 30;31(5):1006-11. Epub 2007 Feb 27.

Heat-shock protein-70 genes and response to antidepressants in major depression.

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Department of Psychiatry, Kangnam St Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.


In the search of predictors of antidepressant efficacy, much interest has recently focused on pro-inflammatory proteins, as they were found to be elevated during major depressives states and decreased by antidepressant drugs. In the present paper we investigated the role of the genes coding for heat-shock-70 family proteins, recently hypothesized to be activated by antidepressants and thus mediate the reduction of pro-inflammatory cytosines. One hundred and forty two hospitalised patients, affected by major depression and treated with antidepressants drugs for a major depressive episode were evaluated for depressive severity at the baseline and at the discharge and genotyped for five SNPs within the genes HSPA1L, HSPA1A and HSPA1B. Markers were not individually associated with symptom severity after treatment. Instead, we found a three markers haplotype, including SNPs within HSPA1L and HSPA1A, associated with a poorer response to antidepressant treatment (p=0.005). Single markers as well as haplotypes were not associated with other clinical features. In conclusion, genetic variants within the genes coding for HSP-70 family proteins may affect the action of antidepressants and thus their therapeutic efficacy.

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