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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2012 Feb;100(4):705-11. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2011.09.015. Epub 2011 Oct 8.

Expression profiling in neuropsychiatric disorders: emphasis on glutamate receptors in bipolar disorder.

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Center for Dementia Research, Nathan Kline Institute, Orangeburg, NY, USA.


Functional genomics and proteomics approaches are being employed to evaluate gene and encoded protein expression changes with the tacit goal to find novel targets for drug discovery. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have attempted to identify valid candidate genes through single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis. Furthermore, microarray analysis of gene expression in brain regions and discrete cell populations has enabled the simultaneous quantitative assessment of relevant genes. The ability to associate gene expression changes with neuropsychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (BP), and their response to therapeutic drugs provides a novel means for pharmacotherapeutic interventions. This review summarizes gene and pathway targets that have been identified in GWAS studies and expression profiling of human postmortem brain in BP, with an emphasis on glutamate receptors (GluRs). Although functional genomic assessment of BP is in its infancy, results to date point towards a dysregulation of GluRs that bear some similarity to schizophrenia (SZ), although the pattern is complex, and likely to be more complementary than overlapping. The importance of single population expression profiling of specific neurons and intrinsic circuits is emphasized, as this approach provides informative gene expression profile data that may be underappreciated in regional studies with admixed neuronal and non-neuronal cell types.

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