G Protein-Coupled Cyclic AMP Signaling in Postmortem Brain of Subjects with Mood Disorders
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Components of cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling were examined in postmortem cerebral cortex of a well characterized group of patients with mood disorders and nonpsychiatric control subjects. We measured G protein levels, adenylyl cyclase (AC) activity, and CREB levels in cerebral cortex of the subjects with respect to diagnosis, treatment, and suicide. There was no effect of diagnosis on any measure, except for a trend toward decreased stimulated AC activity in subjects with mood disorders relative to control subjects. We also detected a significant effect of suicide on temporal cortex CREB levels in subjects that died as a result of suicide relative to those that did not, which was more evident in patients with major depressive disorder. Bipolar disorder (BD) subjects treated with anticonvulsants at the time of death had decreased temporal cortex CREB levels relative to those not receiving anticonvulsants. Furthermore, we found a trend toward decreased occipital cortex G alpha(s) (short) levels in BD subjects treated with lithium. These results support the hypothesis of altered cAMP signaling in mood disorders and raise the possibility that factors other than diagnosis, such as treatment and suicide, may be relevant to cell-signaling abnormalities reported in the literature.
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