Possible association of a polymorphism of the tryptophan hydroxylase gene with suicidal behavior in depressed patients

Am J Psychiatry. 1997 Oct;154(10):1451-3. doi: 10.1176/ajp.154.10.1451.


Objective: This study was designed to test the hypothesis that serotonin-system-related genes may be correlated with suicide risk.

Method: Fifty-one unrelated Caucasian inpatients with major depression, with or without a history of suicidal acts, were genotyped for a biallelic polymorphism at the tryptophan hydroxylase locus.

Results: The less common tryptophan hydroxylase U allele occurred with greater frequency in the patients who had attempted suicide. A logistic regression analysis confirmed an association between tryptophan hydroxylase genotype and lifetime history of suicide attempts.

Conclusions: Serotonergic-system-related genes may influence the risk of suicide in persons with major depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Depressive Disorder / enzymology
  • Depressive Disorder / genetics*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase / genetics*


  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase