These studies emphasized possible excess or deficiency states of monoamines such as norepinephrine, dopamine, or serotonin.70,71 Later work centered on interactions among monoamine systems, indicating that even “selective” new-generation psychotropic
agents have multiple effects within the brain based on extensive neuronal interconnectivity among monoaminergic tracts within limbic regions. Starting in the 1970s, a number of investigators began to emphasize the importance of Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical moving beyond excess or deficiency states to an understanding of regulatory systems.72,73 More recently, the evaluation of regulatory function in relation to affective disturbances has been accelerated by rapid progress in the delineation of specific neuronal tracts and their interconnections, especially as modeled by neural network paradigms.74,75 Another line of advance in the neurobiological investigation of bipolar disorder has been the evolution from synaptic neurotransmitter-based hypotheses as discussed Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical above to postsynaptic second messenger-based hypotheses. Manji76 has suggested a central role for Calcitriol vitamin d G-proteins in the mechanism of
17-DMAG manufacturer action of lithium, a role which may be more important pathophysiological than lithium’s synaptic effects. If this is true, similar second messenger postsynaptic Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical mechanisms may remain to be discovered as possibly underlying sources of action of other mood-stabilizing agents, such as valproate and carbamazepine, as well as some antidepressants. Particularly relevant to bipolar
disorder, second messenger mechanisms may explain the unique mood-stabilizing effects of lithium and other agents that produce psychomotor activation and mood elevation Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical in the depressed state, reduce them in the manic state, and have little effect on the euthymic state. For instance, Berridge and colleagues77 hypothesized that lithium selectively inhibits the second messenger phosphatidylinositol in neuronal pathways that are overactive; this would suppress an excessively excited system, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical but exert no effect on a normally functioning pathway. Such second messenger systems generally are linked initially to G-proteins that translate synaptic neurotransmission into intracellular changes, such as with phosphatidylinositol. Drug_discovery Medications developed on the basis of these specific effects on different G-proteins are in process of early clinical evaluation and may prove to be more pharmacologically specific in bipolar disorder than current treatments. In this regard, the recent preliminary finding that high doses of omega-3 fatty acids may have mood-stabilizing properties in bipolar disorder is of considerable interest, given the role of these essential fatty acids in postsynaptic signal transduction.78 Further work on postsynaptic mechanisms has involved other aspects of cellular communication linked to G-protein function, particularly the activity of the enzyme protein kinase C.