Introduction: Suicide in bipolar disorder (BD) is a multifaceted behavior, involving specific neuroendocrine and psychological mechanisms. According to previous studies, we hypothesized that suicidal BD patients may exhibit impaired dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) variability of hippocampal subregions and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, which may be associated with suicide-related personality traits. The objective of our study was to clarify this. Methods: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were obtained from 79 patients with BD, 39 with suicidal attempt (SA), and 40 without SA, and 35 healthy controls (HCs). The activity of the HPA axis was assessed by measuring morning plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol (CORT) levels. All participants underwent personality assessment using Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). Results: BD patients with SA exhibited increased dFC variability between the right caudal hippocampus and the left superior temporal gyrus (STG) when compared with non-SA BD patients and HCs. BD with SA also showed significantly lower ACTH levels in comparison with HCs, which was positively correlated with increased dFC variability between the right caudal hippocampus and the left STG. BD with SA had significantly higher scores of Hypochondriasis, Depression, and Schizophrenia than non-SA BD. Additionally, multivariable regression analysis revealed the interaction of ACTH × dFC variability between the right caudal hippocampus and the left STG independently predicted MMPI-2 score (depression evaluation) in suicidal BD patients. Conclusion: These results suggested that suicidal BD exhibited increased dFC variability of hippocampal-temporal cortex and less HPA axis hyperactivity, which may affect their personality traits.

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