Br.  J Psychiatry Suppl 2001 Jun;41:s137-41


Serial Analysis of Gene Expression In The Frontal

Cortex of Patients With Bipolar Disorder

Sun Y, Zhang L, Johnston NL, Torrey EF, Yolken RH


BACKGROUND:  Bipolar disorder is a serious

brain disease affecting more than a million individuals living in the USA. 

Epidemiological studies indicate a role for both genetic and environmental

factors in the pathogenesis of this disorder.

AIM: To identify RNA transcripts that are up- or

down-regulated in the frontal cortex regions of individuals with bipolar


METHOD: Serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE)

and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction were used to identify RNA

transcripts which are differentially expressed in the frontal cortex of brains

obtained postmortem from individuals with bipolar disorder compared with other

psychiatric and control conditions.

RESULTS: Levels of RNA transcripts encoding the

serotonin transporter protein and components of the NK-kappa B transcription

factor complex are significantly increased in individuals with bipolar disorder

compared with unaffected controls.  Increased levels of these RNA

transcripts were also detected in the brains of some individuals with

schizophrenia and unipolar depression.

CONCLUSION: The SAGE technique offers promise for

the characterization of complex human brain diseases.