What findings of gene expression in rat brains have increased understanding of the pathophysiology of bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness)?

Updated: May 06, 2018
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Another approach to delineating the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder involves studying changes in gene expression induced in rodent brains after administration of pharmacologic agents used to treat bipolar disorder. For example, investigators have demonstrated that 2 chemically unrelated drugs (lithium and valproate) used to treat bipolar disorder both upregulate the expression of the cytoprotective protein Bcl-2 in the frontal cortex and the hippocampus of rat brains. [40] These types of studies are also performed on human tissue by exposing cultured monocytes from peripheral blood to lithium and other factors.


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