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Interactions Among Polymorphisms of Susceptibility Loci for Alzheimer’s Disease or Depressive Disorder

Eva Kitzlerová, Zdeněk Fišar, Petra Lelková, Roman Jirák, Martina Zvěřová, Jana Hroudová, Ada Manukyan, Pavel Martásek, Jiří Raboch

(Department of Psychiatry, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:2599-2619

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.907202

BACKGROUND: Several genetic susceptibility loci for major depressive disorder (MDD) or Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have been described. Interactions among polymorphisms are thought to explain the differences between low- and high-risk groups. We tested for the contribution of interactions between multiple functional polymorphisms in the risk of MDD or AD.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A genetic association case-control study was performed in 68 MDD cases, 84 AD cases (35 of them with comorbid depression), and 90 controls. The contribution of 7 polymorphisms from 5 genes (APOE, HSPA1A, SLC6A4, HTR2A, and BDNF) related to risk of MDD or AD development was analyzed.
RESULTS: Significant associations were found between MDD and interactions among polymorphisms in HSPA1A, SLC6A4, and BDNF or HSPA1A, BDNF, and APOE genes. For polymorphisms in the APOE gene in AD, significant differences were confirmed on the distributions of alleles and genotype rates compared to the control or MDD. Increased probability of comorbid depression was found in patients with AD who do not carry the ε4 allele of APOE.
CONCLUSIONS: Assessment of the interactions among polymorphisms of susceptibility loci in both MDD and AD confirmed a synergistic effect of genetic factors influencing inflammatory, serotonergic, and neurotrophic pathways at these heterogenous complex diseases. The effect of interactions was greater in MDD than in AD. A presence of the ε4 allele was confirmed as a genetic susceptibility factor in AD. Our findings indicate a role of APOE genotype in onset of comorbid depression in a subgroup of patients with AD who are not carriers of the APOE ε4 allele.

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