Increased serum glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor immunocontent during manic and depressive episodes in individuals with bipolar disorder
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Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a neurotrophic factor from the transforming growth factor beta family, which plays a role in the development and function of hippocampal cells. Preclinical studies suggest that changes in neurotrophic growth factor systems might be involved in the pathophysiology of mood disorders including bipolar disorder (BD) [E.J. Nestler, M. Barrot, R.J. DiLeone, A.J. Eisch, S.J. Gold, L.M. Monteggia, Neurobiology of depression, Neuron 34 (2002) 13-25]. This is the first study to analyze GDNF immunocontent in BD subjects across different mood states, including mania, depression, and remission (euthymia). Fourty-four bipolar patients (14 depressed, 15 manic, and 15 euthymic) and 14 healthy controls, diagnosed according to the Structural Clinical Interview for DSM-IV were studied. Serum GDNF immunocontent was measured using Western blotting. Serum GDNF immunocontent was increased in manic (F=42.31; p=0.001; one-way ANOVA) and depressed (F=42.31; p=0.004; one-way ANOVA) bipolar patients, but not in euthymic patients as compared with controls. Our results indicate that changes in GDNF immunocontent occur during acute major affective episodes in bipolar subjects. These results further support the role of neurotrophins in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. Whether the observed increase in GDNF immunocontent correspond to a pathological or an adaptive response remains to be determined.
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