Background: This study investigates the association of four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the serotonin 2A (5-HT-2A) receptor gene with anger-, aggression- and suicide-related behavior in a total of 566 subjects (203 German suicide attempters and 363 German community-based healthy volunteers).
Methods: Anger- and aggression-related traits were assessed by using the State Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI) and the Questionnaire for Measuring Factors of Aggression (FAF).
Results: Three (rs643627-rs594242-rs6311: A-C-T), two (rs594242-rs6311: C-T) and a single functional (rs6311: T) marker were protective against suicidal behavior. The complementary makers (rs594242-rs6311: G-C and rs6311: C) were associated with increased risk for non-violent (p=0.01; p=0.009 respectively) and impulsive suicidal behavior (p=0.03; p=0.01 respectively). Furthermore, CC-homozygotes for the functional SNP rs6311 reported more anger- (p=0.004) and aggression-related behavior (p=0.011).
Conclusion: We conclude that variations in the 5-HT-2A gene may modify the phenotype of suicide-, anger-, and aggression-related behavior. Further studies should especially focus on intermediate personality traits in this context.