Enrichment pathway analysis. The inflammatory genetic background in bipolar disorder

Drago Antonio, Crisafulli Concetta, Calabrò Marco, Serretti Alessandro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract Introduction The pathophysiology of Bipolar Disorder (BD) is yet to be fully characterized. In the last years attention was focused on neurodevelopment or neurodegenerative events. In this context, hyper- and hypo- activation of inflammatory cascades may play a role in modulating the architecture and function of neuronal tissues. In the present paper we tested the enrichment of molecular pathways related to inflammatory cascades (IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, TNF and INF) testing whether genes related to these systems hold more variations associated with the risk for BD than expected. Methods ~7000 bipolar patients and controls with genome-wide data available from NIMH dataset were analyzed. SNPs were imputed, checked for quality control, pruned and tested for association (0.015 times) to limit false positive findings. Results As a result, IL-6, IL-8 and IFN related pathways held twice to thrice the number of expected variants associated with BD. These tests resisted the permutation analysis. Limitations The restricted number of inflammatory components included in the analysis and the lack of functional consequences for some of the SNPs analyzed may be biased; however, these choices helped the authors to lighten the statistical computational load for the analyses and at the same time included possibly hidden SNPs in linkage disequilibrium with the analyzed variations. Conclusions We bring evidence that the inflammatory cascades may be genetically varied in Bipolar patients. This genetic background may explain part of the pathophysiology of the disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7345
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2015


  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Inflammation genes
  • Molecular pathway analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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