Cellular Plasticity Cascades: Genes-To-Behavior Pathways in Animal Models of Bipolar Disorder

ArticleinBiological Psychiatry 59(12):1160-71 · July 2006with8 Reads
Impact Factor: 10.26 · DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.11.004 · Source: PubMed


    Despite extensive research, the molecular/cellular underpinnings of bipolar disorder (BD) remain to be fully elucidated. Recent data has demonstrated that mood stabilizers exert major effects on signaling that regulate cellular plasticity; however, a direct extrapolation to mechanisms of disease demands proof that manipulation of candidate genes, proteins, or pathways result in relevant behavioral changes.
    We critique and evaluate the behavioral changes induced by manipulation of cellular plasticity cascades implicated in BD.
    Not surprisingly, the behavioral data suggest that several important signaling molecules might play important roles in mediating facets of the complex symptomatology of BD. Notably, the protein kinase C and extracellular signal-regulated kinase cascades might play important roles in the antimanic effects of mood stabilizers, whereas glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3 might mediate facets of lithium's antimanic/antidepressant actions. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) modulation also seems to be capable to inducing affective-like changes observed in mood disorders. And Bcl-2, amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid receptors, and inositol homeostasis represent important pharmacological targets for mood stabilizers, but additional behavioral research is needed to more fully delineate their behavioral effects.
    Behavioral data support the notion that regulation of cellular plasticity is involved in affective-like behavioral changes observed in BD. These findings are leading to the development of novel therapeutics for this devastating illness.