ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (10): 1583-1591.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01583

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BDNF gene and depression

TIAN Xiangjuan; WANG Meiping   

  1. (School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China)
  • Received:2015-12-14 Online:2016-10-15 Published:2016-10-15
  • Contact: WANG Meiping, E-mail:


It has been well documented that the etiology and development of depression have important genetic underpinnings. With the advancement of experimental methods of cellular and molecular biology and analysis techniques of molecular genetics, there is growing concern about BDNF gene, which relates to neural plasticity and found to be an important candidate gene of depression. Generally, existing studies had mainly explored the direct association between BDNF gene and depression, the interaction between BDNF gene and other genes, as well as the moderating effect of environmental factors on the association between BDNF gene and depression. However, the conclusions have been inconsistent and even contradictory in some cases. This might be due to the differences in research designs, indexes of environment measurement, methods of depression measurement, and participants’ ethnic backgrounds of extant studies. Future research should focus on such issues as multiple gene–environment effects on depression, the moderation effect of participants’ ethnicity, gender and age on the association between genes and depression, and the neural biological mechanisms underlying depression.

Key words: BDNF gene, depression, gene–environment interaction, hypothesis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor