Back to Journals » Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment » Volume 9

The role of the serotonergic system in suicidal behavior

Authors Sadkowski M, Dennis B, Clayden RC, ElSheikh W, Rangarajan S, DeJesus J, Samaan Z 

Received 21 June 2013

Accepted for publication 28 August 2013

Published 6 November 2013 Volume 2013:9 Pages 1699—1716


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Marta Sadkowski,1,* Brittany Dennis,2–4,* Robert C Clayden,2 Wala ElSheikh,5 Sumathy Rangarajan,5 Jane DeJesus,5 Zainab Samaan3–6

1Arts and Sciences Program, 2Faculty of Health Sciences, 3Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 4Population Genomics Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 5Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 6Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Serotonin is a widely investigated neurotransmitter in several psychopathologies, including suicidal behavior (SB); however, its role extends to several physiological functions involving the nervous system, as well as the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems. This review summarizes recent research into ten serotonergic genes related to SB. These genes – TPH1, TPH2, SLC6A4, SLC18A2, HTR1A, HTR1B, HTR2A, DDC, MAOA, and MAOB – encode proteins that are vital to serotonergic function: tryptophan hydroxylase; the serotonin transporter 5-HTT; the vesicular transporter VMAT2; the HTR1A, HTR1B, and HTR2A receptors; the L-amino acid decarboxylase; and the monoamine oxidases. This review employed a systematic search strategy and a narrative research methodology to disseminate the current literature investigating the link between SB and serotonin.

Keywords: serotonin, suicide, genetic

Creative Commons License © 2013 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.