Contribution of common genetic variants to antidepressant response

Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Apr 1;73(7):679-82. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.10.030. Epub 2012 Dec 11.


Background: Pharmacogenetic studies aiming to personalize the treatment of depression are based on the assumption that response to antidepressants is a heritable trait, but there is no compelling evidence to support this.

Methods: We estimate the contribution of common genetic variation to antidepressant response with Genome-Wide Complex Trait Analysis in a combined sample of 2799 antidepressant-treated subjects with major depressive disorder and genome-wide genotype data.

Results: We find that common genetic variants explain 42% (SE = .180, p = .009) of individual differences in antidepressant response.

Conclusions: These results suggest that response to antidepressants is a complex trait with substantial contribution from a large number of common genetic variants of small effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / genetics*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Phenotype
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents