Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis appears to play a key role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorders (MDD). Treatment of certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) has been shown to reduce the activity of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons and may contribute to their therapeutic action. It has been proposed that the downregulation of CRH activity is final and common step of antidepressant treatment. In this study, we tested whether the polymorphisms of three sites (rs1876828, rs242939 and rs242941) in corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor1 (CRHR1) gene are related to 6 weeks fluoxetine antidepressant effect in 127 Han Chinese patients with MDD. The results show that the rs242941 G/G genotype and homozygous GAG haplotype of the three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are associated with fluoxetine therapeutic response in MDD patients of high-anxiety (HA). The results support the idea that the CRHR1 gene is likely to be involved in the antidepressant response in MDD.
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