A miRNome analysis of drug-free manic psychotic bipolar patients versus healthy controls

Silvia Tabano, Alice Caldiroli, Andrea Terrasi, Patrizia Colapietro, Silvia Grassi, Greta Silvia Carnevali, Laura Fontana, Marta Serati, Valentina Vaira, A. Carlo Altamura, Monica Miozzo, Massimiliano Buoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The lifetime presence of psychotic symptoms is associated with more clinical severity, poorer outcome and biological changes in patients affected by bipolar disorder (BD). Epigenetic mechanisms have been evoked to explain the onset of psychotic symptoms in BD as well as the associated biological changes. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the expression profiles of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) in drug-free manic psychotic bipolar patients versus healthy controls (HC), to identify possible non-invasive molecular markers of the disorder. 15 drug-free manic psychotic bipolar patients and 9 HC were enrolled and 800 miRNAs expression profile was measured by Nanostring nCounter technology on plasma samples and validated through qPCR. Overall, twelve miRNAs showed a significantly altered expression between the two groups (p < 0.05). Functional annotation of predicted miRNAs targets by MultiMIR R tool showed repression in bipolar patients of genes with a role in neurodevelopment and neurogenesis, and upregulation of genes involved in metabolism regulation. We identified a signature of circulating miRNA characteristic of manic psychotic bipolar patients, suggesting a possible role in neurodevelopment and metabolic processes regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-900
JournalEuropean Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Biomarkers
  • Bipolar disorder (BD)
  • Epigenetics
  • Metabolism
  • miRNA
  • Psychotic symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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