Influence of BDNF variants on diagnosis and response to treatment in patients with major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

Neuropsychobiology. 2012;65(1):1-11. doi: 10.1159/000327605. Epub 2011 Nov 15.


Aim: The present study aimed to explore whether some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the BDNF gene could be associated with major depression (MD), bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia, and whether they could predict clinical outcomes in Korean inpatients treated with antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotics, respectively.

Methods: One hundred and forty-five patients with MD, 132 patients with BD, 221 patients with schizophrenia and 170 psychiatrically healthy controls were genotyped for 5 BDNF SNPs (rs2030324, rs7103873, rs10835210, rs11030101 and rs6265). Baseline and final clinical measures--including the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale, Young Mania Rating Scale and Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale for patients with MD, BD and schizophrenia, respectively--were recorded.

Results: rs10835210 CA and rs11030101 AT genotype frequencies were higher in BD and schizophrenia patients than in healthy and MD subjects. No significant association was found with clinical improvement.

Discussion: Our findings provide evidence of an association between BDNF and BD and schizophrenia. However, taking into account the several limitations of our study, including the moderately small sample size, further research is needed to draw more definitive conclusions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bipolar Disorder / drug therapy
  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / genetics*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor