Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2015 Apr;13(1):53-61. 10.9758/cpn.2015.13.1.53.

Effects of Persisting Emotional Impact from Child Abuse and Norepinephrine Transporter Genetic Variation on Antidepressant Efficacy in Major Depression: A Pilot Study

  • 1IMPACT Strategic Research Centre, School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
  • 3Department of General Practice, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
  • 4Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorne, VIC, Australia.
  • 5Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
  • 6Healthscope Pathology, Clayton, VIC, Australia.
  • 7Centre for Youth Mental Health, Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Parkville, VIC, Australia.


Previous studies suggest child abuse and serotonergic polymorphism influence depression susceptibility and anti-depressant efficacy. Polymorphisms of the norepinephrine transporter (NET) may also be involved. Research in the area is possibly clouded by under reporting of abuse in researcher trials.
Adults (n=51) with major depressive disorder has 8 weeks treatment with escitalopram or venlafaxine. Abuse history was obtained, the ongoing emotional impact of which was measured with the 15-item impact of event scale (IES-15). The 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was applied serially. Two NET polymorphisms (rs2242446 and rs5569) were assayed, blinded to HDRS ratings and abuse history.
No subjects reporting abuse with high impact in adulthood (IES-15 > or =26, n=12) remitted; whereas 77% reporting low impact (IES-15 <26; n=26) remitted (p<0.001). Subjects reporting high impact abuse (n=12) had a 50-fold (95% confidence interval=4.85-514.6) greater odds of carrying rs2242446-TT genotype, but the small sample size leaves this finding vulnerable to type I error.
The level of persisting impact of child abuse appears relevant to antidepressant efficacy, with susceptibility to such possibly being influence by NET rs2242446 polymorphism. Larger studies may be merited to expand on this pilot level finding given potential for biomarker utility.


Abuse; Child; Antidepressants; Norepinephrine transporter; Remission
Full Text Links
  • CPN
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2020 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: