ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (9): 1605-1616.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.01605

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Gender Differences in the Genetic Underpinning of Depression

CAO Yanmiao;WANG Meiping;CAO Cong;CHEN Guanghui;ZHANG Wenxin   

  1. (School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China)
  • Received:2013-01-11 Online:2013-09-15 Published:2013-09-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Wenxin

Abstract: Human depression has complex genetic underpinnings which vary across genders. These gender differences exist both in forms of direct effects of genes and gene-environment interactions on depression. The present paper systematically reviewed the extant literature of both twin studies and molecular genetic studies in the realm and discussed the possible causes of gender differences in the association between genetic variants and depression. Possible explanations provided included gender differences in sex hormones, sensitivity to environment and intermediate phenotype. Previous studies have highligted the value in taking a developmental perspective in investigating genetic effects on depression, future research should employ longitudinal design to reveal the developmental changes of the effect of genetic variants and their interactions with enviroment on depression. Besides, gender differences in genetic susceptibility to depression remain an important direction for future research.

Key words: depression, genetics, environment, gender difference