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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Oct 1;31(7):1370-7. Epub 2007 Jun 7.

A monoamine oxidase B gene variant and short-term antidepressant treatment response.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Mainz, Untere Zahlbacher Str. 8, 55131 Mainz, Germany.


Genetic differences among patients suffering from Major Depression are likely to contribute to interindividual differences in medication treatment response. Thus, the identification of gene variants affecting drug response is needed in order to be able to predict response to psychopharmacological drugs. This study analyzed a possible association of the common A644G single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within intron 13 of the monoamine oxidase B (MAOB) gene with antidepressant treatment response. The study population consisted of n = 102 patients with major depression (criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition; DSM-IV) participating in a randomized double-blind controlled clinical trial, conducted at 50 centers in Germany, comparing the efficacy of mirtazapine and paroxetine during 6 weeks of treatment. Overall, female patients homozygous for the A-allele had a significantly faster and more pronounced antidepressant treatment response than AG/GG-carriers. In paroxetine-treated females these differences remained statistically significant. In mirtazapine-treated females homozygous for the A-allele compared to AG/GG-carriers, HAMD-17 scores during the study period were constantly and markedly lower, but not statistically different. In males, we found no association between the MAOB A644G intron 13 SNP and antidepressant treatment response. Our data provide first suggestive evidence that the MAOB A644G SNP is involved in the outcome of treatment with mirtazapine or paroxetine in females with major depression. To confirm the role of the MAOB A644G gene variant in antidepressant treatment response, independent replications are needed. If replicated, the MAOB A644G polymorphism could be considered useful for prospective confirmatory pharmacogenetic trials in patients with major depression.

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