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Abstract

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a chronic and cyclic mental disorder, characterized by unusual mood swings between mania/hypomania and depression, raising concern in both scientific and medical communities due to its deleterious social and economic impact. Polypharmacy is the rule due to the partial effectiveness of available drugs. Disease course is often unremitting, resulting in frequent cognitive deficits over time.Despite all research efforts in identifying BD-associated molecular mechanisms, current knowledge remains limited. However, the involvement of inflammation in BD pathophysiology is increasingly consensual, with the immune system and neuminflammation playing a key role in disease course. Evidence includes altered levels of cytokines and acute-phase proteins, pathological micmglial activation, deregulation of Nrf2-Keapl system and changes in biogenic amines neurotransmitters, whose expression is regulated by TNF-alpha, a pro-inflammatory cytokine highly involved in BD, pointing out inflammation as a novel and attractive therapeutic target for BD. As result, new therapeutic agents including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, N-acetylcysteine and GSK3 inhibitors have been incorporated in BD treatment.Taking into consideration the latest pre-clinical and clinical trials, in this review we discuss recent data regarding inflammation in BD, unveiling potential therapeutic approaches through direct or indirect modulation of inflammatory response.

Authors

Pereira, Ana Catarina;  Oliveira, Joana;  Silva, Sonia;  Madeira, Nuno;  Pereira, Claudia M. F.;  Cruz, Maria T.

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