Stem Cells Shed Light on Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

By Dr. Matthew Watson

These neurons derived from stem cells made from the skin of people with bipolar disorder communicated with one another differently than neurons made from the skin of people without bipolar disorder.(Credit: University of Michigan)

Bipolar disorder is known to run in families, but scientists have yet to pinpoint the genes involved. Now they have a powerful new tool in the hunt: stem cells.

In a first-of-its-kind procedure, researchers from the University of Michigan have created stem cells from the skin of people with bipolar disorder, and then coaxed the cells into neurons. This has allowed scientists, for the first time, to directly measure cellular differences between people with bipolar disorder and people without.

In the future the cells could provide a greater understanding of what causes the disease, and allow for the development of personalized medications specific to each patients cells.

The team from Michigan took skin cell samples from 22 people with bipolar disorder and 10 people without the disorder. Under carefully controlled conditions, they coaxed adult skin cells into an embryonic stem cell-like state. These cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, then had the potential to transform into any type of cell. With further coaxing, the cells became neurons.

This gives us a model that we can use to examine how cells behave as they develop into neurons. Already, we see that cells from people with bipolar disorder are different in how often they express certain genes, how they differentiate into neurons, how they communicate, and how they respond to lithium, study co-leader Sue OShea said in a news release.

Researchers published their findings Wednesday in the journalTranslational Psychiatry.

The research team discovered intriguing differences between stem cellsand neuronsfrom bipolar individuals and those from healthy people.

For one thing, bipolar stem cells expressed more genes associated with receiving calcium signals in the brain. Calcium signals play an important role in neuron development and function. Therefore, the new findings support the idea that genetic differences expressed early in life may contribute to the development of bipolar disorder later in life.

Once the stem cells turned into neurons, researchers tested how they reacted to lithium, a typical treatment for the disorder. The tests showed that lithium normalized the behavior of neurons from bipolar patients by altering their calcium signalingfurther confirmation that this cellular pathway should be of key interest in future studies of the disease.

Excerpt from:
Stem Cells Shed Light on Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Related Post

categoriaSkin Stem Cells commentoComments Off on Stem Cells Shed Light on Treatments for Bipolar Disorder | dataMarch 26th, 2014


This author published 2617 posts in this site.


FacebookTwitterEmailWindows LiveTechnoratiDeliciousDiggStumbleponMyspaceLikedin

Comments are closed.

Personalized Gene Medicine | Mesenchymal Stem Cells | Stem Cell Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis | Stem Cell Treatments | Board Certified Stem Cell Doctors | Stem Cell Medicine | Personalized Stem Cells Therapy | Stem Cell Therapy TV | Individual Stem Cell Therapy | Stem Cell Therapy Updates | MD Supervised Stem Cell Therapy | IPS Stem Cell Org | IPS Stem Cell Net | Genetic Medicine | Gene Medicine | Longevity Medicine | Immortality Medicine | Nano Medicine | Gene Therapy MD | Individual Gene Therapy | Affordable Stem Cell Therapy | Affordable Stem Cells | Stem Cells Research | Stem Cell Breaking Research