Mania-like behavior induced by genetic dysfunction of the neuron-specific Na+,K+-ATPase α3 sodium pump

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Nov 1;108(44):18144-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1108416108. Epub 2011 Oct 24.


Bipolar disorder is a debilitating psychopathology with unknown etiology. Accumulating evidence suggests the possible involvement of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase dysfunction in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. Here we show that Myshkin mice carrying an inactivating mutation in the neuron-specific Na(+),K(+)-ATPase α3 subunit display a behavioral profile remarkably similar to bipolar patients in the manic state. Myshkin mice show increased Ca(2+) signaling in cultured cortical neurons and phospho-activation of extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt in the hippocampus. The mood-stabilizing drugs lithium and valproic acid, specific ERK inhibitor SL327, rostafuroxin, and transgenic expression of a functional Na(+),K(+)-ATPase α3 protein rescue the mania-like phenotype of Myshkin mice. These findings establish Myshkin mice as a unique model of mania, reveal an important role for Na(+),K(+)-ATPase α3 in the control of mania-like behavior, and identify Na(+),K(+)-ATPase α3, its physiological regulators and downstream signal transduction pathways as putative targets for the design of new antimanic therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Bipolar Disorder / physiopathology
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Motivation
  • Reward
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / genetics
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / physiology*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase