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PBS. 2011; 1(1): 19-24

Lack of association between COMT gene polymorphism and treatment outcome in major depression

Salih Selek, Mehmet C. Kaya, Mehmet Emin Erdal, Mahmut Bulut, Murat Eren Ozen, Mehmet Yumru, Ömer Barlas, Aysun Kalenderoglu, Hasan Herken.

Background & Aim: Abnormal activity of Catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT), as a major degrading enzyme of catecholaminergic neurotransmitters may be enrolled in the pathogenesis of mood disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between COMT genetic polymorphism and major depression patients.
Method: The study included 137 unrelated major depressive disorder (MDD) patients and 153 healthy unrelated controls, all were of Turkish origin. The patients were treated with antidepressant drugs for 8 weeks. All patients were assessed by Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) before and after the antidepressant treatment. The analysis of COMT G1947A polymorphism was performed using PCR based endonuclease digestion method.
Results: No significant difference was found between MDD and control subjects. In the MDD patients, there was no relationship between duration of illness, and pretreatment HDRS scores in respect to COMT gene polymorphism. The distribution of COMT genotypes and alleles was not significantly different among the controls and MDD patients.
Conclusion: Our findings indicated that distribution of COMT genetic polymorphism were not different significantly between the patients and controls. No allele was found to be a predictor for treatment outcome by antidepressant therapy or for clinical manifestations in MDD.

Key words: COMT gene, antidepressant treatment response, gender, major depression, polymorphism

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