Genetic contributions to suicide


(1) "Suicide attempts and the tryptophan hydroxylase gene"

Authors: M Abbar, P Courtet, F Bellivier, M Leboyer, JP Boulenger, D Castelnau, M Ferreira, C Lambercy, D Mouthon, A Paoloni-Giacobino, M Vessuz, A Malafosse, C Buresi

Department of Psychiatry, Carmeau Hospital, Nimes, France; Department of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatry, Lapeyronie Hospital and University Department of Psychiatry, La Colombire Hospital Montpellier, France; Henri Mondor and Albert Chenevier Hospitals, Crteil, France; Department of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland

A specific genetic vulnerability for suicidal behavior is strongly suggested by the results of epidemiological genetics studies. Several lines of evidence suggest that regulation of serotonin neurotransmission is a key factor for this vulnerability. Recent studies have investigated the involvement of the gene coding for the tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), the rate-limiting enzyme in serotonin biosynthesis, in the genetic susceptibility to suicidal behavior. In this case-control study, the authors investigated seven polymorphisms spanning the entire TPH gene in 231 suicide attempters and 281 controls. Significant associations were found between variants within the 3' noncoding region and suicide attempt. The association was strongest for subjects who had attempted suicide by violent means and who had a history of major depression. The results presented here, and those of previous studies, suggest that a genetic variant of the 3' part of the TPH gene may be a susceptibility factor for a phenotype combining suicidal behavior, mood disorder and impulsive aggression.

Citation source: Molecular Psychiatry 2001 Volume 6, number 3, pages 268-273.

(2) "Association between violent suicidal behavior and the low activity allele of the serotonin transporter gene"

Authors: P Courtet, P Baud, M Abbar, JP Boulenger, D Castelnau, D Mouthon, A Malafo

Contact: Ava Martin
Molecular Psychiatry

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