Exocytosis-related genes and response to methylphenidate treatment in adults with ADHD

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Experimental studies have demonstrated that methylphenidate (MPH) modulates the synaptic vesicle trafficking and synaptotagmin-1 (SytI) mRNA levels. SytI is a regulatory protein of the SNARE complex, a neurotransmitter exocytosis mediator. Despite this evidence, most SNARE complex-related genes have never been evaluated in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) pharmacogenetics. This study evaluates, for we believe the first time, polymorphisms on the SNARE complex-related genes STX1A (rs2228607), VAMP2 (26bp Ins/Del) and SYT1 (rs1880867 and rs2251214) on the response to immediate-release methylphenidate (IR-MPH) in a naturalistic sample of adults with ADHD. The sample comprised 433 subjects, of which 272 (62.8%) have completed the short-term IR-MPH treatment (at least 30 days). The main outcome measure was the categorical variable of short-term response to IR-MPH based on the Swanson, Nolan and Pelham Rating Scale version 4 (SNAP-IV), and on the clinical global impression-improvement scale. Additional analyses evaluated the percentage of SNAP-IV symptom reduction for each dimension as well as short- and long- (7 years) term treatment persistence. SYT1-rs2251214 was associated with the categorical short-term response to IR-MPH (P = 0.006, PFDR = 0.028), and with the percentage of inattention and oppositional defiant disorder symptoms reduction (P = 0.007, PFDR = 0.028 and P = 0.017, PFDR = 0.048, respectively). SYT1-rs2251214 was also associated with short-term treatment persistence (P = 0.018, PFDR = 0.048), and with months of treatment (P = 0.002, PFDR = 0.016) in the long-term protocol. Our findings suggest that SYT1-rs2251214 presents a broad influence in IR-MPH response variability in adults with ADHD, being involved with both symptom response and treatment persistence. If such findings are replicated, SytI could represent a key element in MPH pharmacodynamics in adults with ADHD.

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