Several recent investigations reported that the serotonin 2A receptor gene (HTR2A) was associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in major depressive disorder. There have also been two reported association analyses of HTR2A with SSRI response in Japanese MDD patients, but the results were rather inconsistent and both studies had the problem of small sample sizes. Therefore, we conducted a replication association study using a sample larger than those in the two original Japanese studies (265 MDD patients), and found that four SNPs, two functional SNPs (-A1438G: rs6311 and T102C: rs6313) and two SNPs (rs7997012 and rs1928040) in HTR2A, were associated with the therapeutic response to SSRIs. HTR2A was associated with the therapeutic response SSRIs in Japanese MDD patients in a haplotype-wise analysis (Pall markers = 0.0136), and a significant association between rs1928040 in HTR2A and SSRI response was detected in MDD (Pallele-wise analysis = 0.0252). However, this significance disappeared after Bonferroni correction (P allele-wise analysis = 0.101). In conclusion, we suggest that HTR2A may play an important role in the pathophysiology of the therapeutic response to SSRIs in Japanese MDD patients. However, it will be important to replicate and confirm these findings in other independent studies using large samples.
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