Association of unipolar major depressive disorder with genes of the serotonergic and dopaminergic pathways

A. Frisch*, D. Postilnick, R. Rockah, E. Michaelovsky, S. Postilnick, E. Birman, N. Laor, B. Rauchverger, A. Kreinin, M. Poyurovsky, M. Schneidman, I. Modai, R. Weizman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a severe psychiatric disorder with a lifetime prevalence of about 15%. The importance of the genetic component is well accepted, but the mode of inheritance is complex and non-Mendellan. A line of evidence suggests the involvement of serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters in the pathophysiology of depression. In the present study, 102 unipolar MDD patients and 172 healthy controls were genotyped for polymorphisms in four serotonergic and three dopaminergic candidate genes [tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A), serotonin receptor 2C (HTR2C), serotonin transporter promoter region (5-HTTLPR), dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4), dopamine transporter (DAT1) and catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT)]. There were no statistical differences between MDD patients and healthy controls in the genotypic and allelic distribution of all polymorphisms investigated. Thus, our study does not support a major role for these polymorphisms in contributing to susceptibility to MDD, although it does not preclude minor effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-392
Number of pages4
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


FundersFunder number
National Institute for Psychobiology in Israel
Recanati Fund for Medical Research
Tel Aviv University


    • Catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT)
    • Dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4)
    • Dopamine transporter (DAT1)
    • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
    • Serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A)
    • Serotonin receptor 2C (HTR2C)
    • Serotonin transporter promoter region (5-HTTLPR)
    • Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH)


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