No association of COMT Val158Met polymorphism with suicidal behavior or CSF monoamine metabolites in mood disorders

Gil Zalsman, Yung Yu Huang, Maria A. Oquendo, David A. Brent, Lucas Giner, Fatemeh Haghighi, Ainsley K. Burke, Steven P. Ellis, Dianne Currier, J. John Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The Met allele of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) gene functional polymorphism (COMT-V158M) is associated with lower enzymatic activity than the Val allele and is reported to be associated with aggression, depression, and suicidal behavior. Since depression and impulsive-aggressive behavior may mediate risk for suicidal behavior, we assessed the association of this polymorphism with suicidal behavior. Clinical (impulsive aggression) and biological (CSF monoamine metabolites) endophenotypes were tested as potential mediators of the effect of genotype on suicide risk. Subjects with mood disorders (N = 486) and healthy volunteers (N = 119), all European Caucasian, were genotyped for COMT-V158M and assessed for DSM IV diagnoses, lifetime suicidal behavior, lifetime impulsivity, hostility, and aggression. CSF monoamine metabolites were assayed in a sub-sample of mood disorder patients (N = 111). We found no association between genotype and mood disorder diagnosis or with reported history of suicide attempt in mood disorder subjects. There was no association between genotype and lethality or method of suicide attempt, or with aggressive/impulsive traits. Further, there was no difference in monoamine metabolites by genotype. The COMT-V158M polymorphism was not associated with suicidal behavior in a Caucasian sample of mood disorder subjects, or with possible clinical or biological endophenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-335
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggression
  • Catechol o-methyltransferase
  • Depression
  • Genetics
  • Mood disorders
  • Suicide


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