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Association of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type1 (HSD11b1) gene polymorphisms with outcome of antidepressant therapy and suicide attempts

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Fernanda Viana Figaro-Drumond, Sherliane Carla Pereira, Itiana Castro Menezes, Cristiane von Werne Baes, Fernanda Borchers Coeli-Lacchini, Gustavo Henrique Oliveira-Paula, Anthony J. Cleare, Allan H. Young, Jose Eduardo Tanus-Santos, Mario F. Juruena, Riccardo Lacchini

Original languageEnglish
Article number112343
JournalBehavioural brain research
Early online date5 Nov 2019
E-pub ahead of print5 Nov 2019
Published2 Mar 2020

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Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


King's Authors


The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis has been implicated in the pathophysiology of depressive disorders. HSD11B1 encodes 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type1 enzyme, responsible for converting cortisone to cortisol. Genetic polymorphisms in HSD11B1 may impact in depression outcome and risk of suicide. This study aimed to assess whether HSD11B1 genotypes and haplotypes are associated with depression risk, severity of symptoms and suicidal attempts, considering early-life stress as an environmental factor. Here, 142 depressive patients and 103 healthy controls were included. Patients were enrolled from the Affective Disorders ambulatory and day hospital units, both within the University General Hospital of Ribeirao Preto. All subjects were clinically assessed applying the Mini-PLUS International Neuropsychiatric Interview, followed by the 21-item GRID-Hamilton Depression Scale, Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation (BSI). All subjects underwent antecubital vein puncture to obtain blood for DNA extraction. Genotyping of rs11119328 and rs11811440 were performed using allele-specific oligonucleotide polymerase chain reaction. We found a significant association of rs11119328 variant genotypes with increased risk for at least one suicide attempt (OR: 7.10, p = 0.049) and an association of variant genotypes of rs11811440 with euthymic mood under optimized pharmacological treatment (OR: 0.05, P = 0.014). These tests included correction for confounding factors. The association of genetic markers with depression risk, GRID-HAM-D21 and BSI scores and the number of suicidal attempts were nonsignificant. Haplotypes combining both markers were not associated with the studied phenotypes. We conclude that HSD11B1 polymorphisms may be relevant biomarkers for detecting subjects genetically vulnerable to poorer antidepressant response and higher risk of suicide attempts.

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