Background: Several investigations have suggested the possible involvement of sigma1 non-opioid intracellular receptor 1 (sigma1 receptor) in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). Sigma1 receptors are also one of the major pharmacological therapeutic targets of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). To evaluate the association of sigma1 receptor gene (SIGMAR1) and MDD and SSRIs therapeutic response in MDD, we conducted a case-control study of Japanese samples (466 MDD patients, 516 controls and 208 MDD patients treated by fluvoxamine or sertraline). Method: We defined a clinical response as a decrease of more than 50% in baseline the Structured Interview Guide for Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (SIGH-D) within 8 weeks, and clinical remission as an SIGH-D score of less than 7 at 8 weeks. Therefore, we selected rs1800866 in SIGMAR1 for the following association analysis. Results: In the logistic regression analysis, we detected an association of the phenotypes (MDD or controls) with rs1800866 genotype. However, we did not detect an association between rs1800866 and SSRI therapeutic response in Japanese MDD. In addition, remission with SSRI was not associated with rs1800866. Also, we did not detect a novel polymorphism in SIGMAR1 when we performed a mutation search using MDD treated by SSRIs samples. Conclusion: Our results suggest that rs1800866 in SIGMAR1 may play a role in the pathophysiology of MDD in the Japanese population. Also, SIGMAR1 does not play a role in the therapeutic response to SSRI in Japanese MDD patients. However, because our sample was small, a replication study using another population and larger sample will be required for conclusive results.
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