Suicidal behaviors and the tryptophan hydroxylase gene

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1995 Oct;52(10):846-9. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1995.03950220056011.


Background: To determine whether the tryptophan hydroxylase gene (ie, the gene that codes for the rate-limiting enzyme in the metabolic pathway of serotonin) may be a susceptibility factor for suicidal behavior.

Methods: Genotypic and allelic frequencies at a polymorphic Ava II restriction site were revealed with the use of the complementary DNA tryptophan hydroxylase probe C2-38 in 62 suicide attempters. The psychiatric characteristics of these suicide attempters were determined using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Lifetime version with modification for the study of anxiety disorders, and these characteristics were compared with those in 52 healthy controls.

Results: No association between tryptophan hydroxylase and suicidal behavior was detected.

Conclusion: The tryptophan hydroxylase gene was not a susceptibility factor for suicidal behaviors in the group of suicide attempters in this study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Serotonin / genetics
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data
  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase / genetics*


  • Serotonin
  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase