Category: Bipolar Disorders

Symposium

Inflammatory Markers in Youth With Bipolar Disorder and Major Depression

Friday, November 17
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Aqua 300 A & B, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: Bipolar Disorder | Depression | Adolescents
Presentation Type: Symposium

Objective: High levels of certain proinflammatory cytokines have been found to distinguish bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults compared to healthy controls. This study examined inflammatory activity in pediatric-onset patients with BD or MDD.  We also examined activation of the nuclear factor (NF)-kB transcription control pathway that regulates cellular expression of proinflammatory genes and increases in inflammatory cytokines.


Method: We examined pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, as well as levels of activated nuclear factor (NF)-kB in total peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), monocytes and lymphocytes among adolescents with BD (n=18), MDD (n=13), or no psychiatric history (n=20).


Results: Adolescents with BD had significantly higher spontaneous levels of NF-kB in PBMC, monocyte and lymphocyte populations than healthy controls.  Youth with bipolar disorder also had higher levels of IL-1B than controls. No differences in NF-kB or cytokines were observed between participants with MDD and controls.  Concurrent psychiatric medications did not account for the variability in inflammatory activity in the 31 participants with mood disorders. 


Conclusions: Although this is a cross-sectional study with a small sample, the findings suggest that activation of the transcription factor NF-kB may be a biological marker associated with early stage bipolar disorder, and may suggest a novel target for interventions.

David Miklowitz

Professor
UCLA Semel Institute

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