ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a chronic, severe, and highly disabling psychiatric disorder; peripheral markers have been used to assess biochemical alterations associated with BD and/or possibly involved in its pathophysiology. Beyond neuronal commitment, many groups have proposed the involvement of glial activity in psychiatric disorders. Other biochemical markers, particularly associated with oxidative stress, have been studied in BD. In the present study, we evaluated glial involvement and oxidative stress in patients with BD. Glial activity was assessed by measuring serum S100B content; oxidative stress was assessed using serum thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and activities of antioxidant enzymes in BD patients during different episodes of disease. We found a significant increment of serum S100B during episodes of mania and depression, but not in euthymic patients. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, as well the SOD/glutathione peroxidase plus catalase ratio, was also increased in manic and depressed patients. On the other hand, TBARS levels were increased in BD patients regardless of the phase of the disorder. These findings suggest a potential oxidative damage in BD patients. This peripheral oxidative imbalance indicates that systemic changes are taking place during the active phases of the illness. Such changes appear to relate to astrocyte function, as indicated by serum S100B elevation.
Journal of Psychiatric Research 10/2007; 41(6):523-9. · 4.66 Impact Factor