A Combined Study of SLC6A15 Gene Polymorphism and the Resting-State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging in First-Episode Drug-Naive Major Depressive Disorder

Lijuan Wang, Zhifen Liu, Xiaohua Cao, Jianying Li, Aixia Zhang, Ning Sun, Chunxia Yang, Kerang Zhang
Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers 2017, 21 (9): 523-530

AIMS: The SLC6A15 gene has been identified as a novel candidate gene for major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the mechanism underlying the effects of how the SLC6A15 gene affects functional brain activity of patients with MDD remains unknown.

METHODS: In the present study, we investigated the effect of the SLC6A15 gene polymorphism, rs1545843, on resting-state brain function in MDD with the imaging genomic technology and the regional homogeneity (ReHo) method. Sixty-seven MDD patients and 44 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scans and genotyping. The differences in ReHo between genotypes were initially tested using the student's t test. We then performed a 2 × 2 (genotypes × disease status) analysis of variance to identify the main effects of genotypes, disease status, and their interactions in MDD.

RESULTS: MDD patients with A+ genotypes showed decreased ReHo in the medial cingulum compared with MDD patients with the GG genotype. This was in contrast to normal controls with A+ genotypes who showed increased ReHo in the posterior cingulum and the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes and decreased ReHo in the left corpus callosum, compared with controls with the GG genotypes. The main effect of disease was found in the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes. The main effect of genotypes was found in the left corpus callosum and the frontal lobe. There was no interaction between rs1545843 genotypes and disease status. We found that the left corpus callosum ReHo was positively correlated with total scores of the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) (p = 0.021), so as was the left inferior parietal gyrus ReHo with cognitive disorder (p = 0.02). In addition, the right middle temporal gyrus had a negative correlation with retardation (p = 0.049).

CONCLUSION: We observed an association between the SLC6A15 rs1545843 and resting-state brain function of the corpus callosum, cingulum and the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes in MDD patients, which may be involved in the pathogenesis of MDD.

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