Genetic factors and catecholaminergic dysfunction have been suggested as the etiology of suicide. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) 158Val/Met polymorphism affects COMT activity; that is, the alleles encoding Val and Met are associated with relatively high and relatively low COMT activity, respectively. We aimed to identify the role of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism in suicidal attempt behavior. The COMT 158Val/Met polymorphisms were analyzed in 197 suicide attempters (male/female: 70/127), 170 control subjects (male/female: 85/85). All subjects were ethnic Korean. The Lethality Suicide Attempt Rating Scale (LSARS) and risk-rescue rating (RRR) system were explored. For the male subjects, there was a significant difference in genotype distributions and allele frequencies between control subjects and suicide attempters. That is, Val/Val genotype and Val carriers were more frequent in suicide attempters than in control subjects. For the female subjects, however, no significant difference was shown in genotype distributions and allele frequencies between control subjects and suicide attempters. There were no significant differences in LSARS and RRR according to the genotypes. The distribution of the COMT 158Val/Met polymorphism showed a biologically meaningful difference between control subjects and suicide attempters among the male subjects although selection bias should be considered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry