A Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Haplotype Is Associated with Therapeutic Response in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Eva Real, Mònica Gratacòs, Virginia Soria, Geòrgia Escaramís, Pino Alonso, Cinto Segalàs, Mònica Bayés, Rafael de Cid, José M. Menchón, Xavier P. Estivill

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Background: Several clinical and genetic studies have focused on the role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the pathophysiology of various mental disorders. Recent lines of evidence regarding the network hypothesis of treatment outcome point towards the involvement of BDNF variants in the pharmacologic response in mood disorders (MD). Furthermore, there is strong evidence of a role for the serotonergic system in the pathophysiology and treatment of OCD, and upregulation of BDNF has been observed with various classes of antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Thus, we hypothesized that the BDNF gene might also be associated with treatment outcome in OCD. Methods: We performed a single-marker and haplotype association study of eight tag single nucleotide polymorphisms in the BDNF genomic region and related this to pharmacologic response in a sample of 131 OCD patients. Results: We found an association for a haplotype containing two single nucleotide polymorphisms that have previously been reported to be associated with treatment outcome in MD (rs908867 and rs1491850). Conclusions: Our results support the hypothesis that the BDNF gene is involved in the response to psychopharmacologic treatment even though these preliminary findings await replication in a follow-up sample.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-680
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Association
  • BDNF
  • haplotype
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • TagSNP
  • treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

Real, E., Gratacòs, M., Soria, V., Escaramís, G., Alonso, P., Segalàs, C., Bayés, M., de Cid, R., Menchón, J. M., & Estivill, X. P. (2009). A Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Haplotype Is Associated with Therapeutic Response in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 66(7), 674-680. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.05.017