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Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2003 Apr 1;118B(1):36-40.

Suicide and serotonin: study of variation at seven serotonin receptor genes in suicide completers.

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  • 1Center for Suicide Studies, Douglas Hospital Research Institute, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, 6875 LaSalle Boulevard, Verdun, Quebec H4H 1R3, Canada.


Suicide is an important public health problem, accounting for a significant proportion of total mortality among young people, particularly males. There is growing and consistent evidence suggesting that genetic factors play an important role in the predisposition to suicide. Based on several lines of evidence supporting a reduced serotonergic neurotransmission in subjects who committed suicide, we investigated variation at genes that code for serotonin receptor 1B (5-HTR1B), 1Dalpha (5-HTR1Dalpha), 1E (5-HTR1E), 1F (5-HTR1F), 2C (5-HTR2C), 5A (5-HTR5A), and 6 (5-HTR6) in a total sample of 106 suicide completers and 120 normal controls. No differences were observed in allelic or genotypic distributions between groups for any of the loci investigated. Moreover, further analysis according to suicide method or psychopathology also failed to reveal differences between groups. Our results do not support a substantial role of these serotonergic receptors in suicide completion.

Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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