Background: Depressive disorders are common during pregnancy. There is compelling
evidence that the inflammatory response system is important in the pathophysiology of depression.
Higher concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in
depressed subjects have been described. Because several polymorphisms in the TNF-α promoter region
are known to affect its gene expression, the aim of this study was determine whether TNF-α -
857C/T, -308G/A, and -238G/A polymorphisms confer susceptibility to depression during pregnancy
in a Mexican mestizo population.
Methods: This case-control study involved 153 depressed pregnant women and 177 controls. Polymorphisms
were genotyped using real-time PCR. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals adjusted
by age, body mass index, number of pregnancies, months of pregnancy and number of abortions
were used to estimate risk.
Results: The -857CT genotype was found to increase the risk for depression (OR= 1.73, 95% CI=
1.06-2.82). In contrast, the -238GA genotype reduced the risk (OR= 0.33, 95% CI= 0.14-0.72). The -
308G/A polymorphism was not associated with risk for depression. Finally, the C857-G308-A238
haplotype was associated with a decreased risk of depression (OR= 0.35, 95% CI= 0.15-0.82).
Conclusion: Our results show for the first time an association between TNF-α -857C/T and -238G/A
polymorphisms and prenatal depression in Mexican mestizo population.