The role of mitochondrial dysfunction in bipolar disorder

Drug News Perspect. 2006 Dec;19(10):597-602. doi: 10.1358/dnp.2006.19.10.1068006.


Altered energy metabolism and accumulated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in the brain, associated mtDNA polymorphisms/mutations or nuclear encoded mitochondrial genes, effects of mood stabilizers on mitochondria and comorbidity of mood disorders with mitochondrial disorders, together suggest the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. Mitochondrial dysfunction may be involved in the calcium signaling abnormality found in bipolar disorder. We recently produced mice accumulating neuron-specific mtDNA deletions. Bipolar disorder-like behavioral phenotypes of these mice supported this hypothesis. Thus, development of new mood stabilizers acting on mitochondrial function might be warranted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bipolar Disorder / drug therapy
  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics
  • Bipolar Disorder / metabolism
  • Bipolar Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Calcium Signaling* / drug effects
  • Comorbidity
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Design
  • Energy Metabolism* / drug effects
  • Genes, Mitochondrial
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / physiopathology
  • Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Tranquilizing Agents / pharmacology
  • Tranquilizing Agents / therapeutic use


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Tranquilizing Agents