Ben-Efraim YJ, Wasserman D, Wasserman J, Sokolowski M
Mol. Psychiatry 18 (7) 758-766 [2013-07-00; online 2012-07-04]
While suicidal behavior is frequently accompanied by serotonergic system alterations, specific associations with genetic variation in the serotonin 2A receptor (HTR2A) gene have been inconsistent. Using a family-based study design of 660 offspring who have made a suicide attempt (SA) and both parents, we conducted an association and linkage analysis using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with extensive gene coverage, and included the study of parent-of-origin (POE) and gene-environment interaction (G × E), also using previously unstudied exposures. The main finding was a G × E between the exon 1 SNP rs6313 and exposure to cumulative types of lifetime stressful life events (SLEs), driven by overtransmission of CT and undertransmission of TT, both in relation to other genotypes. Further exploratory analysis revealed a significant POE in this G × E in female subjects, which followed a polar overdominant inheritance pattern. In addition, rs6310 and rs6305 were found to significantly associate with SA in the total sample. A G × E in female subjects (rs7322347 × physical assault in childhood/adolescence) confirmed features of a previously observed association with SA. Other potentially interesting nominally significant findings were observed, but like the G × E of rs7322347 did not pass a false-discovery rate cutoff. Taken together, this study found multiple associations of HTR2A SNPs on SA, with strongest statistical evidence for a G × E involving rs6313, and further suggested the importance of taking into account different inheritance patterns and G × Es with regard to HTR2A.