Plasma Levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor Superfamily Molecules Are Increased in Bipolar Disorder

Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2017 Aug 31;15(3):269-275. doi: 10.9758/cpn.2017.15.3.269.


Objective: Patients with bipolar disorder (BD) exhibit peripheral low-grade inflammation. The aim of the current study was to investigate the involvement of hitherto unexplored components of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily in BD.

Methods: Eighty patients with type I BD and 50 healthy controls matched for age and gender were enrolled in this study. All subjects were assessed with the Mini-Plus to evaluate psychiatric comorbidities; the Young Mania Rating Scale and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale to evaluate manic and depressive symptoms severity, respectively. TNF superfamily molecules (TNF, TNF-related weak inducer of apoptosis [TWEAK], TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand [TRAIL], soluble TNF receptor type 1 [sTNFR1], and soluble TNF receptor type 2 [sTNFR2]) levels were measured by ELISA.

Results: Patients with BD, regardless of mood state, presented increased plasma levels of sTNFR1 and TWEAK in comparison with controls.

Conclusion: These findings corroborate the view that TNF superfamily may play a role in BD pathophysiology.

Keywords: Bipolar disorder; TNF-α; TRAIL; TWEAK; sTNFR.