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Suicide attempts are associated with activated immune-inflammatory, nitro-oxidative, and neurotoxic pathways: A systematic review and meta-analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-28, 10:33 authored by A Vasupanrajit, K Jirakran, C Tunvirachaisakul, Michael Maes
Background: Suicide attempts (SA) frequently occur in patients with mood disorders and schizophrenia, which are both accompanied by activated immune-inflammatory and nitro-oxidative (IO&NS) pathways. Methods: We searched PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science, for articles published from inception until February 1, 2021. We included studies that compared blood biomarkers in psychiatric patients with (SA+) and without SA (SA-) and heathy controls and we combined different IO&NS biomarkers into immune, inflammatory, and neurotoxic profiles and used meta-analysis (random-effect model with restricted maximum-likelihood) to delineate effect sizes with 95% confidence interval (CI). Findings: Our search included 51 studies comprising 4.945 SA+ patients and 24.148 controls. We stratified the control group into healthy controls and SA- patients. SA+ patients showed significantly (p<0.001) increased immune activation (SMD: 1.044; CI: 0.599, 1.489), inflammation (SMD: 1.109; CI: 0.505, 1.714), neurotoxicity (SMD: 0.879; CI: 0.465, 1.293), and lowered neuroprotection (SMD: 0.648; CI: 0.354, 0.941) as compared with healthy controls. When compared with SA- patients, those with SA+ showed significant (p<0.001) immune activation (SMD: 0.290; CI: 0.183, 0.397), inflammation (SMD: 0.311; CI: 0.191, 0.432), and neurotoxicity (SMD: 0.315; CI: 0.198, 0.432), and lowered neuroprotection (SMD: 0.341; CI: 0.167, 0.515). Patients with current, but not lifetime, SA showed significant (p<0.001) levels of inflammation and neurotoxicity as compared with controls. Conclusions: Patients with immune activation are at a higher risk of SA which may be explained by increased neurotoxicity due to inflammation and nitro-oxidative stress. This meta-analysis discovered new biomarkers of SA and therapeutic targets to treat individuals with SA.



Journal of Affective Disorders




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