Immunosenescence is associated with human cytomegalovirus and shortened telomeres in type I bipolar disorder

Lucas Bortolotto Rizzo, Carine Hartmann Do Prado, Rodrigo Grassi-Oliveira, Andréa Wieck, Bruna Luz Correa, Antonio Lucio Teixeira, Moisés Evandro Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Objective: Bipolar disorder (BD) has been associated with persistent low-grade inflammation and premature cell senescence, as shown by reduced telomere length (TL). The human cytomegalovirus (CMV) has increasingly been implicated in accelerated immunosenescence in aging studies. Here, we compared CMV serology and its relationships with cell senescence markers, including TL and lymphocyte subsets, in patients with type I BD and healthy controls. Methods: Twenty-two euthymic female patients with BD type I and 17 age-matched healthy controls were selected for the study. A sample of blood was collected and mononuclear cells and DNA were isolated and TL measured. CMV immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG titers were measured using chemiluminescent assays. Lymphocyte subsets [T, natural killer (NK) and NKT] were phenotyped by flow cytometry. Results: Individuals with BD had shorter TLs but higher CMV IgG levels than controls (both p < 0.01). CMV IgG level was inversely correlated with TL. None of the subjects showed IgM reactivity for CMV, excluding acute viral infection. CMV IgG level was associated with expansion of senescent CD8+CD28- T cells and NK cells, which are involved in viral control. Conclusions: These data support the hypothesis of accelerated aging in BD, as shown by shortened telomeres, higher seropositivity for CMV, and expansion of senescent T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)832-838
Number of pages7
JournalBipolar disorders
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Immunosenescence
  • Lymphocytes
  • Telomeres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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