Peripheral Markers of Suicidal Behavior: Current Findings and Clinical Implications

Hee Ju Kang, Ju Wan Kim, Sung Wan Kim, Jung Soo Han, In Kyoon Lyoo, Jae Min Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Biomarkers of suicidal behavior (SB), particularly peripheral biomarkers, may aid in the development of preventive and intervention strategies. The peripheral biomarkers of SB should be easily accessible, cost-effective, and minimally invasive. To identify peripheral biomarkers of SB, we summarized the current knowledge related to SB biomarkers with a focus on suicidal outcomes (suicidal ideation [SI], suicide risk [SR], suicide attempt [SA], and suicide death [SD]), measured site (center or periphery), and study design (cross-sectional or longitudinal). We also evaluated the central findings to validate the findings of peripheral biomarkers of SB. We found reduced peripheral interleukin (IL)-2 levels in individuals with a recent SA, higher cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) IL-6 levels in patients with a current SR and future SD, higher CSF tumor necrosis factor-α levels for current and future SRs, higher high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels and lower peripheral total cholesterol levels for recent SAs, lower peripheral 5-HT levels for present SR, and a lower folate level for future SR and SA within 1 year. Previous studies have shown inconsistent associations of low peripheral leptin levels with SR and recent SA; therefore, further study is required. Given the multiple determinants of SB and weak associations with single biological markers, combinations of potential biological markers rather than single markers may improve the screening, diagnosis, and prediction of SB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-664
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright© 2023, Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology.


  • Biomarkers
  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Suicide


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