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Gen Physiol Biophys. 2012 Dec;31(4):415-22. doi: 10.4149/gpb_2012_049.

Analysis of genetic polymorphisms of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase in depressed patients in a Slovak (Caucasian) population.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin, Comenius University Bratislava, Slovak Republic.


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder where both gene-gene and gene-environment interactions play an important role, but the clues are still not fully understood. One carbon metabolism in the CNS plays a critical role in the synthesis and release of neurotransmitters which are relevant to depressive disorder. We studied genetic polymorphisms of the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) in association with major depressive disorder. We genotyped the BDNF G196A, the MTHFR C677T, and A1298C polymorphisms in 134 patients diagnosed with major depression and 143 control subjects in Slovak (Caucasian) cohort of patients and probands. We found no significant association of either the BDNF G196A or MTHFR C677T polymorphisms with major depressive disorder neither in female nor male group of patients. However, the MTHFR A1298C genotype distribution was 36.6% (for AA genotype), 48.5% (AC) and 14.9% (CC) for the depressed patients, and 48.9% (AA), 42.7% (AC) and 8.4% (CC), respectively, for the control subjects. Patients with MDD had a higher prevalence of the CC genotype (OR = 2.38; 95% CI = 1.07-5.32; p = 0.032) and the AC + CC genotype (OR = 1.67; 95% CI = 1.03-2.69; p = 0.037) in comparison with the control subjects. This study shows that CC genotype of the MTHFR A1298C is associated with higher risk of MDD in Slovak population.

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