, 2003). In conclusion, the above presented results from human genetics, gene expression, volumetric imaging, spectroscopy, and a mouse model of chronic stress all support the notion that lower SLC6A15 expression, especially in the hippocampus, could increase an individual’s stress susceptibility by altering neuronal integrity and excitatory neurotransmission in this brain region. Recently, the prokaryotic leucine transporter homolog (LeuTaa) of SLC6A15 has been crystallized from Alectinib Aquifex aeolicus and was shown to bind tricyclic antidepressant drugs that can directly block leucine
transport by closing the molecular gate for the substrate in a noncompetitive manner ( Zhou et al., 2007). Due to the high degree of phylogenetic conservation of the antidepressant binding site, these
drugs probably also bind to the human transporter. Because SLC6A15 appears amenable to drug targeting, our results may lead to the discovery of a novel class of antidepressant drugs. Three hundred and fifty-three unipolar depressive inpatients (155 males, 198 females) were recruited for the Munich Antidepressant Response Signature (MARS) project (Hennings et al., 2009 and Ising et al., 2009) at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry (MPIP) in Munich, Germany. The mean age (±SD) was 49.5 ± 14.3 (males: 48.4 ± 13.4, females: 50.4 ± 15.0) years. See Hennings this website et al. (2009) and Ising et al. (2009) for more details on patient recruitment. Briefly, patients were included in the study within 1–3 days of admission to the hospital and diagnosis was ascertained according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV criteria. Patients fulfilling the criteria for at least SB-3CT a moderate depressive episode (HAM-D ≥ 14 on the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating
Scale) entered the analysis. Patients suffered from a first depressive episode (36.8%) or from recurrent depressive disorder (63.2%). All included patients were of European descent and 88.7% were of German origin. Three hundred and sixty-six control subjects were matched to the patient sample for age, gender, and ethnicity from a randomly selected Munich-based community sample and underwent a strict screening procedure for the absence of psychiatric and severe somatic disease (Heck et al., 2009). The overall inclusion rate of all contacted probands was 50.3%. These subjects thus represent a group of individuals from the general population who have never been mentally ill. Age, gender, and ethnicity did not differ from the patient sample. This study has been approved by the ethics committee of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich and written informed consent was obtained from all subjects. This sample included 920 patients (302 males, 618 females) suffering from recurrent major depression (Lucae et al., 2006 and Muglia et al.