Disturbances in serotonin (5HT) transmission are the most frequently reported neurobiological substrates of suicidal behavior. Because 5HT transporter plays a central role in the regulation of 5HT synaptic function and its gene contains two functional polymorphisms (5-HTTLPR in the promoter region and VNTR in the second intron), it represents an interesting candidate for association studies in suicidal behavior.
In this study, a possible association of 5-HTTLPR and intron 2-VNTR polymorphisms of the 5HT transporter gene with suicidal behavior was investigated in a sample of 135 suicide victims and 299 healthy control subjects of Croatian/southern Slavic origin.
There were no significant differences in 5-HTTLPR and intron 2-VNTR genotype- and allele- frequency distributions between suicide victims and healthy control subjects; however, a tendency toward an increase of 5-HTTLPR allele L and VNTR-allele 10 were observed in suicide group. Analysis of distribution of estimated haplotype frequencies revealed differences between suicide victims and control subjects, with an excess of haplotype L10 among suicide victims (p = .0112).
Our results provide modest evidence for a possible association of the 5HT transporter gene with a completed suicide. Further studies are needed to determine whether alterations in 5HTt gene expression are involved in suicidal behavior.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Biological Psychiatry
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Low blood cholesterol and low platelet serotonin levels in violent suicide attempters.Biol Psychiatry. 1999; 45: 1066-1069
- Neurobiological aspects of suicidal behavior.Int Rev Psychiatry. 2000; 12: 62-74
- A gender-specific association between the serotonin transporter gene and suicide attempts.Neuropsychopharmacology. 2002; 26: 692-695
- Serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms in patients with unipolar or bipolar depression.Neurosci Lett. 1998; 255: 143-146
- Possible association between serotonin transporter gene polymorphism and violent suicidal behavior in mood disorders.Biol Psychiatry. 2000; 48: 319-322
- Possible association of the short allele of the serotonin transporter promoter gene polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) with violent suicide.Mol Psychiatry. 2000; 5: 193-195
- Attempted suicide and polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene in Chinese patients with schizophrenia.Psychiatry Res. 2000; 97: 101-106
- Association between violent suicidal behavior and the low activity allele of the serotonin transporter gene.Mol Psychiatry. 2001; 6: 338-341
- Frequency of long allele in serotonin transporter gene is increased in depressed suicide victims.Biol Psychiatry. 1999; 46: 196-201
- An intronic polymorphic domain often associated with susceptibility to affective disorders has allele dependent differential enhancer activity in embryonic stem cells.FEBS Lett. 1999; 458: 171-174
- Suicide and the serotonin transporter gene.Mol Psychiatry. 2000; 6: 127-128
- Search for association between suicide attempt and serotonergic polymporphisms.Psychiatry Genet. 2000; 10: 19-26
- Serotonin transporter protein (SLC6A4) allele and haplotype frequencies and linkage disequilibria in African- and European-American and Japanese populations and in alcohol-dependent subjects.Hum Genet. 1997; 101: 243-246
- Serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms, alcoholism, and suicidal behavior.Biol Psychiatry. 2000; 48: 259-264
- Allelic variation of human serotonin transporter gene expression.J Neurochem. 1996; 66: 1-4
- Serotonin transporter gene and schizophrenia: Evidence for association/linkage disequilibrium in families with affected siblings.Mol Psychiatry. 2000; 5: 91-95
- Organization of the human serotonin transporter gene.J Neural Transm. 1994; 95: 157-162
- Association of anxiety-related traits with a polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene regulatory region.Science. 1996; 274: 1527-1531
- Genetically driven variation in serotonin uptake.Biol Psychiatry. 1998; 44: 179-192
- Support for alleic association of a polymorphic site in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene with risk for alcoholic dependence.Am J Psychiatry. 2000; 157: 2045-2047
- A serotonin transporter gene intron 2 polymorphic region, correlated with affective disorders, has allele-dependent differential enhancer-like properties in the mouse embryo.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999; 96: 15251-15255
- The neurobiology and genetics of suicide and attempted suicide.Neuropsychopharmacol. 2001; 24: 467-477
- A serotonin transporter gene promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and prefrontal cortical binding in major depression and suicide.Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2000; 57: 729-738
- A novel allele in the promoter region of the human serotonin transporter gene.Mol Psychiatry. 1999; 4: 97-99
- Neuroimaging findings in major depression, suicidal behavior and aggression.Clin Neurosci Res. 2001; 1: 377-380
- What’s wrong with Bonferroni adjustments.BMJ. 1998; 316: 1236-1238
- Association between suicide attempts and 5-HTTLPR-S-allele in alcohol-dependent and control subjects.Biol Psychiatry. 2001; 50: 636-639
- Antidepressant- and cocaine-sensitive human serotonin transporter.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993; 90: 2542-2546
- Suicidal behavior in depression.Neuropsychobiol. 1999; 39: 71-75
- Genetic influence on suicide risk.Clin Neurosci Res. 2001; 1: 324-330
- Analysis of cathecol-O-methyltransferase and 5-hydrpxytryptamine transporter polymorphisms in patients at risk for suicide.Psychiatry Res. 2000; 93: 73-78
- Serotonin transporter gene variants in alcohol-dependent subjects with dissocial personality disorder.Biol Psichiatry. 1998; 43: 908-912
- Differential abnormalities in plasma 5-HIAA and platelet serotonin concentrations in violent suicide attempters. Relationships with impulsivity and depression.Life Sci. 2001; 69: 647-657
- Suicidal behavior.Bipolar Disorders. 2001; 3: 335-349
- Family-based association study of serotonin transporter promoter in suicidal adolescents.Am J Med Genet. 2001; 105: 239-245
Accepted: January 23, 2003
Received in revised form: October 2, 2002
Received: July 2, 2002
© 2003 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.