Signaling pathway may explain the body clock's link to mental illness

Alterations in a cellular signaling pathway called cAMP–CREB may help explain why the body clocks of people with bipolar disease are out of sync, according to a new European Journal of Neuroscience study.

Researchers established a novel viral method to make a surprising observation: the amplitude of cAMP–CREB signaling in cells from human skin biopsies predicted the way that the circadian hormone melatonin responds to light in healthy individuals, and it was much higher in cells from bipolar patients.

"Our study suggests that variation in the activity of a very common signaling pathway that is used for many different cellular tasks could help explain long-observed links between depression, light, the hormone melatonin, and ," said co-author Professor Steven Brown.

More information: Gaspar, L., van de Werken, M., Johansson, A.-S., Moriggi, E., Owe-Larsson, B., Kocks, J. W. H., Lundkvist, G. B., Gordijn, M. C. M. and Brown, S. A. (2014), Human cellular differences in cAMP - CREB signaling correlate with light-dependent melatonin suppression and bipolar disorder. European Journal of Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12602

Related Stories

Melatonin makes old bones stronger

date May 27, 2014

Faleh Tamimi, a professor in McGill's School of Dentistry, is the leader of a research team that has just discovered that melatonin supplements make bones stronger in elderly rats and therefore, potentially, in elderly humans ...

Hormones tied to elderly sleep problems

date Apr 12, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Have you ever wondered why grandma and grandpa head to bed early but are up with the sun every morning? A new study by Lucia Pagani and Steven A. Brown of the University of Zurich recently published in the ...

Vibrations influence the circadian clock of a fruit fly

date Jan 31, 2014

The internal circadian clock of a Drosophila (fruit fly) can be synchronised using vibrations, according to research published today in the journal Science. The results suggest that an animal's own moveme ...

Recommended for you

Unlearning implicit social biases during sleep

date 2 hours ago

Can we learn to rid ourselves of our implicit biases regarding race and gender? A new Northwestern University study indicates that sleep may hold an important key to success in such efforts.

Deciphering dark and bright

date 2 hours ago

The human sensory systems contend with enormous diversity in the natural world. But it has been known for a long time the brain is adapted to exploit statistical regularities that nonetheless arise amongst this diversity. ...

How we make emotional decisions

date 4 hours ago

Some decisions arouse far more anxiety than others. Among the most anxiety-provoking are those that involve options with both positive and negative elements, such choosing to take a higher-paying job in a ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.