A new clinical evidence-based gene-environment interaction model of depression.
In our current understanding of mood disorders, the role of genes is diverse including the mediation of the effects of provoking and protective factors. Different or partially overlapping gene sets play a major role in the development of personality traits including also affective temperaments, in the mediation of the effects of environmental factors, and in the interaction of these elements in the development of depression. Certain genes are associated with personality traits and temperaments including e.g., neuroticism, impulsivity, openness, rumination and extroversion. Environmental factors consist of external (early and provoking life events, seasonal changes, social support etc.) and internal factors (hormones, biological rhythm generators, comorbid disorders etc). Some of these environmental factors, such as early life events and some prenatal events directly influence the development of personality traits and temperaments. In the NEWMOOD cohort polymorphisms of the genes of the serotonin transporter, 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B and 5-HT2A and endocannabinoid CB1 receptors, tryptophan hydroxylase, CREB1, BDNF and GIRK provide evidence for the involvement of these genes in the development of depression. Based on their role in this process they could be assigned to different gene sets. The role of certain genes, such as promoter polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) and CB1 receptor has been shown in more than one of the above factors. Furthermore, gene-gene interactions of these promoters associated with anxiety suggest the application of these polymorphisms in personalized medicine. In this review we introduce a new model including environmental factors, genes, trait and temperament markers based on human genetic studies.