Despite the well-recognized effects of endogenous opioids on mood and behavior, research on its role in bipolar disorder (BD) is still limited to small or anecdotal reports. Considering that Beta-endorphins (β-END) and Mu-opioid receptors (MOR), in particular, have a crucial activity in affective modulation, we hypothesized their alteration in BD. A cross-sectional study was conducted. We compared: (1) BD type I (BD-I) patients (n = 50) vs healthy controls (n = 27), (2) two BD-I subject subgroups: manic (MAN; n = 25) vs depressed (DEP; n = 25) subjects. Plasma levels of β-END and MOR gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were analyzed using ELISA Immunoassay qRT-PCR. We found that subjects with BD exhibited a significant upregulation of MOR gene expression and a decrease of β-END (p<0.0001 for both). MAN display higher MOR levels than DEP (p<0.001) and HC (p<0.0001). Plasma levels of β-END were lower in DEP compared to MAN (p<0.05) and HC (p<0.0001). The main limitations are the cross-sectional design and the lack of a group of euthymic subjects. Although preliminary, our results suggest a dysregulation of the endogenous opioid systems in BD. In particular, both MAN and DEP showed a reduction of β-END levels, whereas MAN was associated with MOR gene overexpression.

Evidence of alterations of Beta-endorphin levels and Mu-opioid receptor gene expression in bipolar disorder

Murri, Martino Belveri;Fenoglio, Daniela;Amore, Mario
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Despite the well-recognized effects of endogenous opioids on mood and behavior, research on its role in bipolar disorder (BD) is still limited to small or anecdotal reports. Considering that Beta-endorphins (β-END) and Mu-opioid receptors (MOR), in particular, have a crucial activity in affective modulation, we hypothesized their alteration in BD. A cross-sectional study was conducted. We compared: (1) BD type I (BD-I) patients (n = 50) vs healthy controls (n = 27), (2) two BD-I subject subgroups: manic (MAN; n = 25) vs depressed (DEP; n = 25) subjects. Plasma levels of β-END and MOR gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were analyzed using ELISA Immunoassay qRT-PCR. We found that subjects with BD exhibited a significant upregulation of MOR gene expression and a decrease of β-END (p<0.0001 for both). MAN display higher MOR levels than DEP (p<0.001) and HC (p<0.0001). Plasma levels of β-END were lower in DEP compared to MAN (p<0.05) and HC (p<0.0001). The main limitations are the cross-sectional design and the lack of a group of euthymic subjects. Although preliminary, our results suggest a dysregulation of the endogenous opioid systems in BD. In particular, both MAN and DEP showed a reduction of β-END levels, whereas MAN was associated with MOR gene overexpression.
2022
Escelsior, Andrea; Sterlini, Bruno; Tardito, Samuele; Altosole, Tiziana; Magioncalda, Paola; Martino, Matteo; Serafini, Gianluca; Murri, Martino Belveri; Aguglia, Andrea; Amerio, Andrea; da Silva, Beatriz Pereira; Trabucco, Alice; Fenoglio, Daniela; Filaci, Gilberto; Amore, Mario
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2495759
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