A functional serotonin transporter gene polymorphism and depressive effects associated with interferon-α treatment

Amira Pierucci-Lagha, Jonathan Covault, Herbert L. Bonkovsky, Richard Feinn, Christine Abreu, Richard K. Sterling, Robert J. Fontana, Henry R. Kranzler, Gyongyi Szabo, Maureen Cormier, Donna Giansiracusa, Michelle Kelley, Adrian M. DiBisceglie, Bruce Bacon, Brent Neuschwander-Tetri, Debra King, Jules L. Dienstag, Andrea E. Reid, Raymond T. Chung, Wallis A. MolchenGregory T. Everson, Jennifer De-Santo, Carol McKinley, Timothy R. Morgan, John C. Hoefs, Choon Park, William M. Lee, Janel Shelton, Nicole Crowder, Rivka Elbein, Karen L. Lindsay, Carol B. Jones, Susan L. Milstein, Anna S F Lok, Pamela A. Richtmyer, Mitchell L. Shiffman, Charlotte Hofmann, Paula Smith, Marc G. Ghany, T. Jake Liang, Yoon Park, Elenita Rivera, Vanessa Haynes-Williams, James E. Everhart, Leonard B. Seeff, Patricia R. Robuck, Jay H. Hoofnagle, Elizabeth C. Wright, Chihiro Morishima, David R. Gretch, Minjun Chung, Latha Padmanabhan, Teresa M. Curto, Linda J. Massey, Zachary D. Goodman, Gary L. Davis, Guadalupe Garcia-Tsao, Michael Kutner, Stanley M. Lemon, Robert P. Perrillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Interferon-alpha (IFN-α) treatment frequently induces depression, potentially leading to early dose reductions or a shorter duration of treatment, which can adversely affect outcomes, including quality of life. Objective: Defining relevant risk factors for IFN-α-induced depression is essential in order to identify prophylactic treatment strategies. Method: The authors examined whether a functional polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) in the gene encoding the serotonin transporter moderates IFN-α-induced depressive symptoms in 1,015 patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) receiving pegylated IFN-α and ribavirin. Depressive symptoms were assessed at baseline, 12 weeks, and 20 weeks of treatment. Results: Depression symptoms increased during antiviral treatment; 5-HTTLPR genotype moderated IFN-α-induced depression symptoms in both non-Hispanic Caucasians and Hispanic patients, although the opposite risk allele was associated with depression in the two populations. Conclusion: 5-HTTLPR may moderate risk for the development of depressive symptoms during IFN-α therapy for CHC in a population-specific manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'A functional serotonin transporter gene polymorphism and depressive effects associated with interferon-α treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this