TPH2 Gene and Alcohol-Related Aggression

Aggression is promoted both by the cognitive deficits arising in connection with acute or chronic alcohol use and by prior experience of violence in particular situations where alcohol was drunk. Only a minority of persons who drink alcohol become aggressive. On the other hand, alcohol abuse and dependence together constitute the second most commonly diagnosed cause of suicide (15-43%). Current research indicates that the individual tendency toward alcohol-induced aggression depends not just on neurobiological factors, but also on personal expectations of the effects of alcohol, on prior experience of violent conflicts, and on the environmental conditions of early childhood, especially social exclusion and discrimination. Gene environment interactions affecting the serotonergic and other neurotransmitter systems play an important role.2

Heritability plays an important role in the development and expression of alcohol dependence. A genetic study explored the role of TPH2 polymorphisms and their haplotypes to investigate its role in alcohol dependence and comorbid psychopathological symptoms. The findings support a potential role of TPH2 in alcohol dependence. TPH2 genetic variability may be also associated with anxiety and aggression traits in alcohol dependent subjects. 1

TPH2 gene encodes a protein which catalyzes the first and rate limiting step in the biosynthesis of serotonin, an important hormone and neurotransmitter. Mutations in this gene may be associated with psychiatric diseases such as bipolar affective disorder and major depression.

Related to:
alcohol-related psychopathological symptoms, alcohol dependence, tryptophan hydroxylase 2 gene