TNF-alpha -308G>A polymorphism is associated with suicide attempts in major depressive disorder

Yong Ku Kim, Jin Pyo Hong, Jung A. Hwang, Heon Jeong Lee, Ho Kyoung Yoon, Bun Hee Lee, Han Yong Jung, Sang Woo Hahn, Kyoung Sae Na

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Background Despite the substantial role of the cytokine network in depression and suicide, few studies have investigated the role of genetic polymorphisms of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in suicide in major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to investigate whether tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) -308G>A, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) +874A>T, and interleukin-10 (IL-10) -1082A>G are associated with increased risk for suicide attempts in MDD. Methods Among patients with MDD, 204 patients who had attempted suicide and 97 control patients who had not attempted suicide were recruited. A chi-square test was used to identify a possible risk genotype or allele type for suicide. A subsequent multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to investigate the influence of a risk genotype or allele type adjusted for other environmental factors. The lethality of the suicide attempt was also tested between genotype and allele types among suicidal patients with MDD. Results The GG genotype of the TNF-alpha -308G>A polymorphism was found to significantly increase risk for suicide attempt (adjusted OR=2.630, 95% CI=1.206 to 5.734). IFN-gamma +874A>T and IL-10 -1082A>G were not associated with risk for suicide. Lethality of the suicide attempt was not associated with any of the three cytokine genotypes or allele types. Limitations Limitations include a relatively small sample size and a cross-sectional design. Conclusions TNF-alpha -308G>A polymorphism is an independent risk factor for suicide attempts in MDD. Future studies should clarify the neural mechanisms by which the GG genotype of TNF-alpha -308G>A influences suicide in MDD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-672
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A120051).


  • Depression
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Interleukin-10
  • Suicide
  • Tumor necrosis factor-alpha

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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