Navigation Links
Making sense out of the biological matrix of bipolar disorder

Philadelphia, PA, August 20, 2012 The more that we understand the brain, the more complex it becomes. The same can be said about the genetics and neurobiology of psychiatric disorders. For "Mendelian" disorders, like Huntington disease, mutation of a single gene predictably produces a single clinical disorder, following relatively simple genetic principals. Compared to Mendelian disorders, understanding bipolar disorder has been extremely challenging. Its biology is not well understood and its genetics are complex.

In a new paper, Dr. Inti Pedroso and colleagues utilize an integrative approach to probe the biology of bipolar disorder. They combined the results of three genome-wide association studies, which examined the association of common gene variants with bipolar disorder throughout the genome, and a study of gene expression patterns in post-mortem brain tissue from people who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The findings were analyzed within the context of how brain proteins relate to each other based on the Human Protein Reference Database protein-protein interaction network.

"None of our research approaches provides us with sufficient information, by itself, to understand the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders. This innovative paper wrestles with this challenge in a creative way that helps us to move forward in thinking about the neurobiology of bipolar disorder," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.

Dr. Pedroso explained, "We combined information about genetic variation from thousands of cases and controls with brain gene expression data and information from protein databases to identify networks of genes and proteins in the brain that are key in the development of bipolar disorder."

The analysis resulted in the ability to define risk gene variants that were deemed functional, by virtue of the association with changes in gene expression levels, and to group these functional gene variants in biologically meaningful pathways.

The results implicated genes involved in several neural signaling pathways, including the Notch and Wnt signaling pathways. These pathways are key processes in neurotransmission and brain development and these findings indicate they are also likely to be involved in causing this severe disorder. The authors noted that three features stand out among these genes: i) they localized to the human postsynaptic density, which is crucial for neuronal function; ii) their mouse knockouts present altered behavioral phenotypes; and iii) some are known targets of the pharmacological treatments for bipolar disorder.

Dr. Gerome Breen, senior author on the study and Senior Lecturer at King's College London Institute of Psychiatry, said, "Our study provides some of the first evidence to show the biochemical and developmental processes involved in causing risk for developing this life-long and costly illness. We have highlighted potential new avenues for new drug treatments and intervention."

Contact: Rhiannon Bugno

Related biology news :

1. For gay couples, condom decision-making and condom use varies by race
2. Winemaking goes high-tech at the University of British Columbia
3. Making healthy food affordable and appealing for low-income populations
4. Copper making salmon prone to predators
5. Chemical engineers at UMass Amherst find high-yield method of making xylene from biomass
6. Killer silk: Making silk fibers that kill anthrax and other microbes in minutes
7. Making memories: How 1 protein does it
8. The magnetic sense
9. NUS-led research team discovers how bacteria sense salt stress
10. Manatee hearing good enough to sense approaching motorboats
11. A test of the senses in the search for a shoal mate
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/20/2015)... , November 20, 2015 ... company focused on the growing mobile commerce market and ... Gino Pereira , was recently interviewed on ... will air on this weekend on Bloomberg Europe ... America . --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 17, 2015 Paris from ... --> Paris from 17 th until ... biometrics innovation leader, has invented the first combined scanner in ... same scanning surface. Until now two different scanners were required: ... can capture both on the same surface. This innovation ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever that stayed ... dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead for treating ... the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the ... . Cell, pinpoints a protective ... the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, Inc. (HART) ... bioengineered organ implants for life-threatening conditions, today announced ... Stock Market that it has regained compliance with ... that as a result of the closing bid ... per share for more than ten consecutive business ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015  Champions Oncology, Inc. (CSBR), engaged in ... personalize the development and use of oncology drugs, today ... will be presenting at the LD MICRO Investor Conference ... Time (PST).  The conference, held at the Luxe Sunset ... , will feature 200 small/micro-cap companies and is ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... -- Aytu BioScience, Inc. (OTCQB: AYTU), a commercial-stage specialty healthcare ... at two upcoming investor conferences. Aytu is scheduled to ... to be held December 3, 2015, and at LD ... 2 nd & 3 rd , 2015 in ... via webcast. Josh Disbrow , Chief Executive ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... MarkLogic, the Enterprise NoSQL database platform provider, creating a seamless approach to ... Content Intelligence capabilities provide a robust set of semantic tools which create ...
Breaking Biology Technology: