Research Abstract


Aberrant telomere length and mitochondrial DNA copy number in suicide completers

2017年6月9日 Scientific Reports 7 : 3176 doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-03599-8 (2017)


Ikuo Otsuka, Takeshi Izumi, Shuken Boku, Atsushi Kimura, Yuan Zhang, Kentaro Mouri, Satoshi Okazaki, Kyoichi Shiroiwa, Motonori Takahashi, Yasuhiro Ueno, Osamu Shirakawa, Ichiro Sora and Akitoyo Hishimoto

Corresponding Author

菱本 明豊
神戸大学大学院 医学研究科 精神医学分野

Short telomere length (TL) occurs in individuals under psychological stress, and with various psychiatric diseases. Recent studies have also reported mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNAcn) alterations under several neuropsychiatric conditions. However, no study has examined whether aberrant TL or mtDNAcn occur in completed suicide, one of the most serious outcomes of mental illnesses. TL and mtDNAcn in post-mortem samples from 528 suicide completers without severe physical illness (508 peripheral bloods; 20 brains) and 560 samples from control subjects (peripheral bloods from 535 healthy individuals; 25 post-mortem brains) were analysed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Suicide completers had significantly shorter TL and higher mtDNAcn of peripheral bloods with sex/age-dependent differences (shorter TL was more remarkably in female/young suicides; higher mtDNAcn more so in male/elderly suicides). The normal age-related decline of TL and mtDNAcn were significantly altered in suicide completers. Furthermore, shorter TL and lower mtDNAcn of post-mortem prefrontal cortex were seen in suicide completers compared to controls. This study shows the first association of aberrant telomeres and mtDNA content with suicide completion. Our results indicate that further research on telomere shortening and mitochondrial dysfunction may help elucidate the molecular underpinnings of suicide-related pathophysiology.