Pharmacogenetics of antidepressant response

Pharmacogenetics of antidepressant response


J Psychiatry Neurosci 2011;36(2):87-113

Stefano Porcelli, MD; Antonio Drago, MD; Chiara Fabbri; Sara Gibiino, MD; Raffaella Calati, PsyD, PhD; Alessandro Serretti, MD, PhD

Porcelli, Drago, Fabbri, Gibiino, Calati, Serretti — Institute of Psychiatry, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy


Personalized medicine — the adaptation of therapies based on an individual’s genetic and molecular profile — is one of the most promising aspects of modern medicine. The identification of the relation between genotype and drug response, including both the therapeutic effect and side effect profile, is expected to deeply affect medical practice. In this paper, we review the current knowledge about the genes related to antidepressant treatment response and provide methodologic proposals for future studies. We have mainly focused on genes associated with pharmacodynamics, for which a list of promising genes has been identified despite some inconsistency across studies. We have also synthesized the main results for pharmacokinetic genes, although so far they seem less relevant than those for pharmaco dynamic genes. We discuss possible reasons for these inconsistent findings and propose new study designs.

Submitted Apr. 1, 2010; Revised May 19, June 12, 2010; Accepted June 14, 2010.

Competing interests: None declared.

Contributors: Drs. Porcelli, Drago, Fabbri, Gibiino, Calati and Serretti designed the review. Drs. Drago, Fabbri, Gibiino and Calati acquired the data. Drs. Porcelli, Drago, Fabbri, Gibiino and Calati wrote the article, which Drs. Porcelli, Drago, Fabbri, Gibiino, Calati and Serretti reviewed. All authors approved publication of the article.

DOI: 10.1503/jpn.100059

Correspondence to: Dr. A. Serretti, Institute of Psychiatry, University of Bologna, Viale Carlo Pepoli 5, 40123 Bologna, Italy;