Anger- and aggression-related traits are associated with polymorphisms in the 5-HT-2A gene

J Affect Disord. 2006 Nov;96(1-2):75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2006.05.016. Epub 2006 Jun 30.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Anger*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency / genetics
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Genotype*
  • Germany
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / diagnosis
  • Impulsive Behavior / genetics
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A / genetics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology


  • Genetic Markers
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A