Association between serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region and escitalopram antidepressant treatment response in korean patients with major depressive disorder

Eun Soo Won, Hun Soo Chang, Hwa Young Lee, Byung Joo Ham, Min Soo Lee

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Various studies have shown that short (s)/long (l) polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) might predict treatment outcome to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between 5-HTTLPR and clinical response to escitalopram treatment in Korean subjects with major depressive disorder. Methods: One hundred and fifteen Korean patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder were evaluated during 8 weeks of escitalopram treatment at a dose of 5-20 mg/day. Patients were genotyped for 5-HTTLPR using polymerase chain reaction. Clinical symptoms were evaluated by the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating (HAMD-21) scale during the 8 weeks of treatment. Results: Therapeutic response to antidepressant escitalopram was better in s allele carriers (ss, sl) than in l allele homozygotes (ll) at 8 weeks of treatment (OR = 6.24, p = 0.026). The proportion of s allele carriers in responders was higher than that in non-responders (96.6 vs. 85.7%). The percentile decline in HAMD-21 in s allele carriers (59.86 ± 3.23%) was larger than that in HAMD-21 in l allele homozygotes (43.13 ± 11.49%; p = 0.029). However, 5-HTTLPR genotypes were not significantly associated with remission (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Our results show that treatment response to escitalopram at 8 weeks was moderated by 5-HTTLPR, with better response rates for s allele carriers than for l allele homozygotes. Although the role of 5-HTTLPR as a definite predictor of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment response cannot be confirmed from current results, they do suggest a trend for better response in s allele carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-229
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 1



  • Escitalopram treatment response
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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