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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Jul 1;32(5):1199-205. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2008.03.005. Epub 2008 Mar 15.

State-dependent changes in the expression levels of NCAM-140 and L1 in the peripheral blood cells of bipolar disorders, but not in the major depressive disorders.

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Division of Neuropsychiatry, Department of Neuroscience, Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1-1 Minamikogushi, Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8505, Japan.


Recent postmortem brain and imaging studies provide evidence for disturbances of structural and synaptic plasticity in patients with mood disorders. Several lines of evidence suggest that the cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAM) and L1, play important roles in both structural and synaptic plasticity. Although postmortem brain studies have indicated altered expression levels of NCAM and L1, it is still unclear whether these changes are state- or trait-dependent. In this study, the mRNA levels for various CAMs, including NCAM and L1, were measured using quantitative real-time PCR in peripheral blood cells of major depressive disorder patients, bipolar disorder patients and normal healthy subjects. Reduced expression levels of NCAM-140 mRNA were observed in bipolar disorder patients in a current depressive state. In contrast, L1 mRNA levels were increased in bipolar disorder patients in a current depressive state. NCAM-140 and L1 mRNA levels were not changed in bipolar disorder patients in a remissive state, or in major depressive disorder patients. In addition, there were no significant changes in the expression levels of intercellular adhesion molecule -1, vascular cell adhesion molecule -1, E-cadherin, or integrin alphaD among healthy controls, major depressive or bipolar disorder patients. Our results suggest that the reciprocal alteration in the expression of NCAM-140 and L1 mRNAs could be state-dependent and associated with the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder.

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