TPH2 -703G/T SNP may have important effect on susceptibility to suicidal behavior in major depression

Ho Kyoung Yoon, Yong Ku Kim

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    Background: Serotonergic system-related genes can be good candidate genes for both major depressive disorder (MDD) and suicidal behavior. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association of serotonin 2A receptor gene -1438A/G SNP (HTR2A -1438A/G), tryptophan hydroxylase 2 gene -703G/T SNP (TPH2 -703G/T) and serotonin 1A receptor C-1019G (HTR1A C-1019G) with suicidal behavior. Methods: One hundred and eighty one suicidal depressed patients and 143 non-suicidal depressed patients who met DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder were recruited from patients who were admitted to Korea University Ansan Hospital. One hundred seventy six normal controls were healthy volunteers who were recruited by local advertisement. Patients and normal controls were genotyped for HTR2A -1438A/G, TPH2 -703G/T and 5-HT1A C-1019G. The suicidal depressed patients were evaluated by the lethality of individual suicide attempts using Weisman and Worden's risk-rescue rating (RRR) and the Lethality Suicide Attempt Rating Scale-updated (LSARS-II). In order to assess the severity of depressive symptoms of patients, Hamilton's Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was administered. Genotype and allele frequencies were compared between groups by χ2 statistics. Association of genotype of the candidate genes with the lethality of suicidal behavior was examined with ANOVA by comparing the mean scores of LSARS and RRR according to the genotype. Results: There were statistically significant differences in the genotype distributions and allele frequencies of TPH2 -703G/T between the suicidal depressive group and the normal control group. The homozygous allele G (G/G genotype) frequency was significantly higher in suicidal depressed patients than in controls. However, no differences in either genotype distribution or in allele frequencies of HTR2A -1438A/G and HTR1A C-1019G were observed between the suicidal depressed patients, the non-suicidal depressed patients, and the normal controls. There were no differences in the lethality of suicidal behavior in suicidal depressed patients according to the genotypes of three polymorphisms. Conclusion: Our results suggest that TPH2 -703G/T SNP may have an important effect on susceptibility to suicidal behavior. Furthermore, an increased frequency of G allele of TPH2 SNP may be associated with elevated suicidal behavior itself rather than with the diagnosis of major depression and may increase risk of suicidality, independent of diagnosis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)403-409
    Number of pages7
    JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr 30


    • HTR1A
    • HTR2A
    • Polymorphism
    • Serotonin
    • Suicide
    • TPH2

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pharmacology
    • Biological Psychiatry


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