Association between brain-derived neurotrophic factor V66M and treatment responses to escitalopram in patients with major depressive disorder

Hun Soo Chang, Hwa Young Lee, Byung-Joo Ham, Yong Chon Park, Sang Woo Hahn, Yoo Jung Jeong, Bohye Kim, Min-Soo Lee

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a candidate molecule for influencing the clinical response to antidepressant treatment. Among polymorphisms on the BDNF gene, V66M (rs6265) has been reported to be associated with response to antidepressant treatment. The aims of this study were to determine the relationship between the V66M polymorphism and the response to escitalopram in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods: One hundred and fifteen Korean patients were examined using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I disorders, and took escitalopram at a daily dose of 5-40mg. Clinical symptoms were evaluated using the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating (HAM-D) scale during 12 weeks of treatment. The genotypes were determined using NlaIII digestion. Results: The proportions of M allele carriers were higher in responders than those in non-responders at 1-8 weeks (P=0.00001-P=0.025). The percentile decrease of HAM-D scores was larger in M allele carriers than those in patients possessing VV genotype at 1-8 weeks (P=0.0002-0.002). The proportion of M allele carriers was higher in remitters than in non-remitters at 2-8 weeks (P=0.003-P=0.038). The comparison between VM heterozygotes and homozygotes (VV or MM) showed similar results. Discussion: These results suggest that BDNF V66M affects the therapeutic action of escitalopram in MDD and that this polymorphism may be a genetic marker for therapeutic response to escitalopram treatment in patients with MDD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalAsia-Pacific Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 1



  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Escitalopram
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Single nucleotide polymorphism
  • Treatment response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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