Ramoz et al. Transl Psychiatry. 2020


 

Corticotropin releasing hormone receptor CRHR1 gene is associated with tianeptine antidepressant response in a large sample of outpatients from real-life settings. T Ramoz N, Hoertel N, Nobile B, Voegeli G, Nasr A, Le Strat Y, Courtet P, Gorwood P.ransl Psychiatry. 2020 Nov 5;10(1):378. doi: 10.1038/s41398-020-01067-y. PMID: 33154348. Download from HAL-INSERM

Polymorphisms of genes involved in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis have been associated with response to several antidepressant treatments in patients suffering of depression. These pharmacogenetics findings have been reported from independent cohorts of patients mostly treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressant, and mirtazapine. Tianeptine, an atypical antidepressant, recently identified as a mu opioid receptor agonist, which prevents and reverses the stress induced by glucocorticoids, has been investigated in this present pharmacogenetics study. More than 3200 Caucasian outpatients with a major depressive episode (MDE) from real-life settings were herein analyzed for clinical response to tianeptine, a treatment initiated from 79.5% of the subjects, during 6-8 weeks follow-up, assessing polymorphisms targeting four genes involved in the HPA axis (NR3C1, FKPB5, CRHR1, and AVPR1B). We found a significant association (p < 0.001) between CRHR1 gene variants rs878886 and rs16940665, or haplotype rs878886*C-rs16940665*T, and tianeptine antidepressant response and remission according to the hospital anxiety and depression scale. Analyses, including a structural equation model with simple mediation, suggest a moderate effect of sociodemographic characteristics and depressive disorder features on treatment response in individuals carrying the antidepressant responder allele rs8788861 (allele C). These findings suggest direct pharmacological consequences of CRHR1 polymorphisms in the antidepressant tianeptine response and remission, in MDE patients. This study replicates the association of the CRHR1 gene, involved in the HPA axis, with (1) a specificity attributed to treatment response, (2) a lower risk of chance finding, and in (3) an ecological situation.