Cruceanu C, Alda M, Grof P, Rouleau GA, Turecki G.
PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e32680.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a debilitating psychiatric condition with a prevalence of 1-2% in the general population that is characterized by severe episodic shifts in mood ranging from depressive to manic episodes. One of the most common treatments is lithium (Li), with successful response in 30-60% of patients. Synapsin II (SYN2) is a neuronal phosphoprotein that we have previously identified as a possible candidate gene for the etiology of BD and/or response to Li treatment in a genome-wide linkage study focusing on BD patients characterized for excellent response to Li prophylaxis. In the present study we investigated the role of this gene in BD, particularly as it pertains to Li treatment. We investigated the effect of lithium treatment on the expression of SYN2 in lymphoblastoid cell lines from patients characterized as excellent Li-responders, non-responders, as well as non-psychiatric controls. Finally, we sought to determine if Li has a cell-type-specific effect on gene expression in neuronal-derived cell lines. In both in vitro models, we found SYN2 to be modulated by the presence of Li. By focusing on Li-responsive BD we have identified a potential mechanism for Li response in some patients.