Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Researchers Report Two Gene Loci Associated With MDD

Researchers have made important strides in recent years in finding genetic loci associated with risk for schizophrenia and autism, but similar steps in depression have remained more elusive.

Now, a group of scientists have reported that a study comparing 5,303 Han Chinese women with recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) with 5,337 controls revealed two loci on chromosome 10 that contribute to risk of MDD. The findings, published online today in the journal Nature, are the work of Kenneth Kendler, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, and other U.S., British, and Chinese colleagues from the CONVERGE consortium.

The team found that one locus lies near the SIRT1 gene and the other in an intron of the LHPP gene. The findings were replicated in a separate cohort of more than 6,000 Han Chinese men and women (including 3,231 cases of recurrent MDD). When the analysis was limited to those with melancholia, a more severe form of MDD, it yielded an increased genetic signal at the SIRT1 locus.

“MDD is most probably highly polygenic, and many additional loci remain to be discovered,” the researchers wrote. “We attribute the discovery and replication of two SNPs associated with MDD in the CONVERGE cohort to the recruitment of cases who were probably more homogeneous and more severely impaired than those collected in previous studies from Western cultures.”

For more in Psychiatric News on psychiatric genetics, see “Revolution in Psychiatric Genetics Rapidly Gains Steam.”

--aml (Image: Vitstudio/


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