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The +1444C>T polymorphism in the CRP gene: a study on personality traits and suicidal behaviour

Suchankova, Petraa; Holm, Göranb; Träskman-Bendz, Lilc; Brundin, Lenad,e; Ekman, Agnetaa

doi: 10.1097/YPG.0b013e32835d71b6
Original Articles

Objectives Numerous studies have shown associations between an on-going depression and elevated serum levels of the acute-phase reactant C-reactive protein (CRP). Also, in suicidal behaviour, a proinflammatory state has been suggested to be of importance for the pathophysiology. There is a genetic susceptibility to suicidal behaviour, but studies with respect to genes related to inflammation are sparse. We have previously reported an association between a polymorphism located in the CRP gene, +1444C>T (rs1130864), and the personality trait impulsiveness in women assessed using the Karolinska Scales of Personality. The present study aims to replicate these results in suicide attempters and examine whether the polymorphism is associated with suicidal behaviour.

Materials and methods The +1444C>T polymorphism was genotyped in suicide attempters from two cohorts (a total of 106 patients) and healthy controls (n=517).

Results We could replicate our previous finding, as the +1444T allele was associated with higher scores in the Karolinska Scales of Personality factor extraversion and its subscale impulsiveness in one of the patient cohorts. Furthermore, the +1444T allele was significantly more common among suicide attempters compared with the +1444C allele.

Conclusion The present results lend further support to the relevance of inflammation for suicidal behaviour. The association between the polymorphism and personality trait impulsiveness reinforces our hypothesis of the importance of immune-related genes also for normal mental functions such as personality traits. Given the fact that impulsiveness is a well-known risk factor for suicidal behaviour, we further hypothesize that the polymorphism studied may in part explain this relationship.

aDepartment of Pharmacology, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy

bDepartment of Metabolism and Cardiovascular Research, Institute of Medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg

cDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Suicide Research Unit

dDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Psychoimmunology Unit, Section of Psychiatry, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden

eDepartment of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine, Michigan State University, USA

Correspondence to Petra Suchankova, PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, PO Box 431, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden Tel: +46 31 786 3420; fax: +46 31 786 3065; e-mail:

Received August 27, 2012

Accepted October 27, 2012

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.