Imaging genetics studies on monoaminergic genes in major depressive disorder.

Research paper by Eunsoo E Won, Byung-Joo BJ Ham

Indexed on: 02 Apr '15Published on: 02 Apr '15Published in: Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry


Although depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, current understanding of the neurobiology of depression has failed to be translated into clinical practice. Major depressive disorder (MDD) pathogenesis is considered to be significantly influenced by multiple risk genes, however genetic effects are not simply expressed at a behavioral level. Therefore the concept of endophenotype has been applied in psychiatric genetics. Imaging genetics applies anatomical or functional imaging technologies as phenotypic assays to evaluate genetic variation and their impact on behavior. This paper attempts to provide a comprehensive review of available imaging genetics studies, including reports on genetic variants that have most frequently been linked to MDD, such as the monoaminergic genes (serotonin transporter gene, monoamine oxidase A gene, tryptophan hydroxylase-2 gene, serotonin receptor 1A gene and catechol-O-methyl transferase gene), with regard to key structures involved in emotion processing, such as the hippocampus, amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal cortex.