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A common mechanism of action for three mood-stabilizing drugs

Williams, Robin S. B., Cheng, Lili, Mudge, Anne W. and Harwood, Adrian John ORCID: 2002. A common mechanism of action for three mood-stabilizing drugs. Nature 417 (6886) , pp. 292-295. 10.1038/417292a

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Lithium, carbamazepine and valproic acid are effective mood-stabilizing treatments for bipolar affective disorder. The molecular mechanisms underlying the actions of these drugs and the illness itself are unknown. Berridge and colleagues1 suggested that inositol depletion may be the way that lithium works in bipolar affective disorder, but others have suggested that glycogen synthase kinase2, 3 (GSK3) may be the relevant target. The action of valproic acid has been linked to both inositol depletion4, 5 and to inhibition of histone deacetylase6 (HDAC). We show here that all three drugs inhibit the collapse of sensory neuron growth cones and increase growth cone area. These effects do not depend on GSK3 or HDAC inhibition. Inositol, however, reverses the effects of the drugs on growth cones, thus implicating inositol depletion in their action. Moreover, the development of Dictyostelium is sensitive to lithium7 and to valproic acid, but resistance to both is conferred by deletion of the gene that codes for prolyl oligopeptidase, which also regulates inositol metabolism. Inhibitors of prolyl oligopeptidase reverse the effects of all three drugs on sensory neuron growth cone area and collapse. These results suggest a molecular basis for both bipolar affective disorder and its treatment.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0028-0836
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2024 15:25

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