Year: 2023 Source: Brain Sciences. (2023). 13, 584. 10.3390/brainsci13040584 SIEC No: 20230824

DNA methylation in genes of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis has been associated with suicide behavior. Through a systematic review, we aimed to evaluate DNA methylation levels of the genes involved in the HPA pathway and their association with suicide behavior. A search of articles was performed using PubMed and Science Direct, EBSCO. The terms included were “DNA methylation”, “suicide”, “epigenetics”, “HPA axis” and “suicide behavior”. This systematic review was performed by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. Six studies comprising 743 cases and 761 controls were included in this systematic review. The studies included individuals with suicide ideation, suicide attempts or completed suicide and childhood trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or depression. One study reported hypermethylation in GR in childhood trauma, while two studies found hypermethylation of NR3C1 in childhood trauma and major depressive disorder (MDD). Only one study reported hypermethylation in BNDF in people with MDD. FKBP5 was found to be hypermethylated in people with MDD. Another study reported hypermethylation in CRHBP. SKA2 was reported to be hypermethylated in one study and another study found hypomethylated both in populations with PTSD. CRHR1 was found to be hypermethylated in people with MDD, and the last study found hypomethylation in CRH. Our result showed that patients with suicidal behavior showed a DNA methylation state of genes of the HPA axis in association with psychiatric comorbidity and with adverse events. Genes of the HPA axis could play a role in suicidal behavior associated with adverse events and pathologies. As a result, DNA methylation levels, proteins, and genes involved in the HPA axis could be considered for the search for biomarkers for the prevention of suicidal behavior in future studies.