Affected individuals alternate between states of deep depression and mania. While depression is characterized by persistent and long-term sadness or despair, mania is a mental state characterized by great excitement, flight of ideas, a decreased need for sleep, and, sometimes, uncontrollable behavior, hallucinations, or delusions. BPD likely arises from the complex interaction of multiple genes and environmental factors. Unlike some brain diseases, no single gene has been implicated in BPD.
A major limitation to progress in research and treatment has been the lack of an appropriate animal model for BPD. This work was developed to create such a model based on a genetically engineered defect in the GluR6 gene. The glutamate receptor 6 (GluR6 or GRIK2, one of the kainate receptors) gene resides in a genetic linkage region (6q21) associated with BPD. Kainate receptors respond to the neurotransmitter glutamate, and recent research in mood disorders suggests that the glutamatergic system may play a role in causing mood disorders.
Until now, the role of GluR6 in regulating the mood swings of BPD has been unknown. Furthermore, the gene encoding the GluR6 receptor has recently been linked to treatment emergent suicidal ideation with antidepressants in a pharmacogenetic study. Notably, individuals with bipolar disorder are most susceptible to antidepressant-induced dysphoric states. In this study, mice of several strains were used to investigate this issue. Mice who were missing the GluR6 gene were compared with control mice. The mice underwent a series of tests designed to approximate the symptoms of mania. The researchers found that mice that were missing the GluR6 gene exhibited many of these symptoms. They were more active in multiple tests and super-responsive to amphetamine, which is used in animal models to approximate hyperactivity. These mice also exhibited less anxious or more risk-taking type behavior and less despair-type behavior. They also tended to be more aggressive.
Notably, BPD is most often treated with a class of medications known as mood stabilizers; lithium is perhaps the best known of these medications. The researchers found that chronic treatment with lithium reduced hyperactivity, aggressive displays, and some risk-taking type behavior in mice missing the GluR6 gene. When biochemical tests were conducted, they also suggested that GluR6 may play a unique role in regulating some of the symptoms of mania. This new animal of mania permits researchers to better understand bipolar disorder and to screen for new treatments that if successful in the animal model can then be translated to the clinic.
Husseini K. Manji, M.D. | EurekAlert!
Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences
27.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering