Altered intracellular signaling cascades in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from BD patients

Izabela Guimarães Barbosa, Camila R.C. Nogueira, Natália Pessoa Rocha, Ana Luiza Lemos Queiroz, Juliana Priscila Vago, Luciana Pádua Tavares, Frankcinéia Assis, Caio Tavares Fagundes, Rodrigo Barreto Huguet, Moisés Evandro Bauer, Antônio Lúcio Teixeira, Lirlândia Pires De Sousa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe psychiatric disorder of complex physiopathology that has been associated with a pro-inflammatory state. The aim of the present study was to investigate intracellular pathways associated with inflammatory signaling, assessing the phosphorylation levels of transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPKs) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of euthymic BD patients and healthy controls. Fifteen BD euthymic type I patients, and 12 healthy controls matched by age and gender were enrolled in this study. All subjects were assessed by the Mini-International Neuropsychiatry Interview and the patients also by the Young Mania Rating Scale and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Phosphorylation levels of p65 NF-κB subunit, and MAPK ERK1/2, and p38 were assessed by Western blot and flow cytometry. Plasma cytokines (IL-2, IL-4, IL6, IL-10, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-17A) were measured using cytometric bead arrays. Western blot and flow cytometry analyses showed increased phosphorylation levels of p65 NF-κB subunit, and MAPKs ERK1/2, and p38 in BD patients in euthymia in comparison with controls. BD patients presented increased pro-inflammatory cytokines levels in comparison with controls, and TNF-α correlated with the levels of phosphorylated p65 NF-κB. The present study found increased activation of MAPK and NF-κB pathways in BD patients, which is in line with a pro-inflammatory status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1949-1954
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Immunology
  • Inflammation
  • Mania
  • MAPK
  • Nuclear factor kappa B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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