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Suicide and the Polyamine System

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 7 ]


Jeffrey A. Gross and Gustavo Turecki   Pages 980 - 988 ( 9 )


Suicide is a significant worldwide public health problem. Understanding the neurobiology is important as it can help us to better elucidate underlying etiological factors and provide opportunities for intervention. In recent years, many lines of research have suggested that the polyamine system may be dysregulated in suicidal behaviors. Initial research in animals provided evidence of a dysfunctional polyamine stress response system, while later work using post-mortem human brain tissue has suggested that molecular mechanisms may be at play in the suicide brain. In this review, we will describe the research that suggests the presence of alterations in the polyamine system in mental disorders and behavioral phenotypes, with particular attention to work on suicide. In addition, we will also describe potential avenues for future work.


Epigenetics, major depressive disorder, neurobiology, polyamines, polyamine stress response, spermidine/ spermine-N1-acetyltransferase, suicide.


McGill Group for Suicide Studies, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, 6875 boul. Lasalle, Verdun, Quebec, H4H 1R3, Canada.

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