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Mol Biosyst. 2014 Jun;10(6):1246-54. doi: 10.1039/c4mb00068d. Epub 2014 Feb 19.

Search for peripheral biomarkers in patients affected by acutely psychotic bipolar disorder: a proteomic approach.

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Department of Pharmacy, University of Pisa, Via Bonanno 6, 56126 Pisa, Italy.


Data on neurobiological mechanisms underlying mood disorders are elusive; the aetiology of such states is multifactorial, including genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Diagnosis is currently being made only on an interview-based methodology. Biological markers, which could improve the current classification, and in perspective, stratify patients on a biological basis into more homogeneous clinically distinct subgroups, are highly needed. We describe here a comparative proteomic analysis of peripheral lymphocytes from patients affected by acute psychotic bipolar disorder (PBD) (n = 15), major depressive episode (MDE) with no personal or family history of psychosis (n = 11), and a group of demographically matched healthy controls (HC) (n = 15). All patients were evaluated by means of Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-Patient version (SCID-I-P), Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS), Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D-17) questionnaires. Blood lymphocytes were obtained by gradient separation, and 2-DE was carried out on protein extracts. Significant differences in protein patterns among the three groups were observed. Thirty-six protein spots were found to be differentially expressed in patients compared to controls, which collapsed into 25 different proteins after mass spectrometry identification. Twenty-one of these proteins failed to discriminate between PBD and MDE, suggesting common signatures for these disorders. Nevertheless, after the western blot validation only two of the remaining proteins, namely LIM and SH3 domain protein1, and short-chain specific acyl-CoA dehydrogenase mitochondrial protein, resulted in being significantly upregulated in PBD samples suggesting additional mechanisms that could be associated with the psychotic features of bipolar disorder.

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