No Effect of serotoninergic gene variants on response to interpersonal counseling and antidepressants in major depression

Alessandro Serretti, Chiara Fabbri, Silvia Pellegrini, Stefano Porcelli, Pierluigi Politi, Silvio Bellino, Marco Menchetti, Veronica Mariotti, Cristina Demi, Valentina Martinelli, Marco Cappucciati, Paola Bozzatello, Elena Brignolo, Paolo Brambilla, Chi Un Pae, Matteo Balestrieri, Diana DeRonchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Gene variants within the serotonin pathway have been associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) treatment outcomes, however a possible different modulation on pharmacological or psychological treatments has never been investigated. Methods One hundred sixty MDD patients were partially randomized to either inter-personal counseling (IPC) or antidepressants. The primary outcome was remission at week 8. Five serotonergic polymorphisms were investigated (COMT rs4680, HTR1A rs6295, HTR2A rs2224721, HTR2A rs7997012 and SLC6A4 rs421417). Results IPC (n=43) and antidepressant (n=117) treated patients did not show any difference in remission rates at week 8 (corrected for baseline severity, age and center). None of the studied gene variants impacted on response and remission rates at week 8 neither in the IPC nor in the antidepressant group. An analysis of the whole sample showed a trend of association between rs7997012 AA genotype and a better treatment outcome. Conclusion Our study confirms that IPC is an effective psychological intervention comparable to antidepressants in mild-moderate MDD. Polymorphisms related to the serotonin system did not exert a major effect on clinical outcomes in none of the treatment groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-189
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • 5-HT
  • 5-HT1A Receptor
  • 5-HT2A Receptor
  • Antidepressants
  • COMT
  • Genes
  • Major depression
  • Polymorphism
  • Psychotherapy
  • Serotonin transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'No Effect of serotoninergic gene variants on response to interpersonal counseling and antidepressants in major depression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this