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Patients with schizophrenia (SCZ) exhibit higher suicide rates than the general population. However, the molecular mechanism remains poorly understood. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha polymorphisms have been repeatedly indicated to play a pathogenetic role in various mental disorders, but none of these studies focused on the susceptibility to suicidal behavior in SCZ. We recruited 1087 chronic inpatients with SCZ and 576 controls to assess the psychopathological symptoms of SCZ using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scales. We selected 2 polymorphisms (-308G>A and -1031C>T) in the TNF-alpha gene and analyzed their associations with SCZ and suicide. Our results showed that TNF-alpha -308G>A and -1031C>T were not related to SCZ and suicide. However, we found that suicide attempters with the C allele carriers exhibited suicidal behaviors significantly later than those with TT genotype in the SCZ patients. The haplotype containing the T allele of the -1031 was significantly associated with the age of suicide initiation. Further logistic regression analysis showed that -1031C>T interacted with psychopathological symptoms and drinking, age of smoking, and related to the initiation age of suicide attempts. Our study demonstrated that the TNF-alpha variants may affect the age at which suicide attempts started among SCZ suicide attempters.


Xiaoe Lang, Tammy H Trihn, Hanjing Emily Wu, Yongsheng Tong, Meihong Xiu, Xiang Yang Zhang. Association between TNF-alpha polymorphism and the age of first suicide attempt in chronic patients with schizophrenia. Aging. 2020 Jan 18;12(2):1433-1445

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PMID: 31954374

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