Genetics of Major Depressive Disorder in Treatment Resistance and Tryptophan Depletion
AuthorGarriock, Holly Ann
Committee ChairErickson, Robert P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation is composed of five major chapters. The first is a comprehensiveliterature review, followed by three chapters of research findings, and a final concludingchapter. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a phenotypically complex andheterogeneous syndrome. This challenge and others faced when investigating the geneticbasis for the susceptibility to MDD are discussed, as are tools used to address andovercome these challenges. Included in this review of the literature is a discussion onfindings of genome-wide analyses of MDD, as well as candidate genes that may play arole in the susceptibility to major depression. Following the literature review, threechapters of studies are presented. The first one demonstrates that in humans, the actualnumber of risk genotypes in the serotonin system accounts for over half of the variance inmood response to tryptophan depletion. There was no association between the dopaminesystem and mood response. The main conclusion from that study is that using a pathwayanalysis, rather than a single gene approach, may lead to more informative results whenstudying the genetics of a complex behavior. The next study demonstrates a similarconclusion, however, is not pathway specific. It is shown that in a group of de pressedsubjects not capable of treatment response, the mean number of risk genotypes is greaterthan in a group without depression. This supports the thought that treatment resistancemay be a more severe form of MDD. This study also presents data on single gene resultswhich demonstrate that the genetic basis for susceptibility to major depression may bedifferent and independent from the genetic basis for the capacity to respond to treatment.Several individual polymorphisms are implicated in each case. The final investigation is apublished manuscript refuting the findings of a previously published article onpolymorphisms in the TPH2 gene and association with treatment resistance. Many otherresearch groups have also been able to replicate the results demonstrated here. A finalchapter discusses the overall conclusions about the three research studies, as well as thefield of psychiatric genetics with a focus on the continuing search for the genetic basis ofsusceptibility to major depressive disorder.