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Current Neuropharmacology


ISSN (Print): 1570-159X
ISSN (Online): 1875-6190

The Wnt Pathway in Mood Disorders

Author(s): Giulia Serra, Paolo Girardi, Ferdinando Nicoletti, Antonio Del Casale, Chiara Rapinesi, Daniele Serata, Alexia E. Koukopoulos, Stefano Maria Tamorri, Valeria Savoja, Giovanni Manfredi, Silvia Romano, Gabriele Sani, Carla Ludovica Telesforo, Nicoletta Girardi, Matteo Caloro, Alessio Simonetti, Giulio Maria Porfiri, Isabella Panaccione, Giorgio D. Kotzalidis, Alberto Maria Forte and Flavia Napoletano

Volume 10 , Issue 3 , 2012

Page: [239 - 253] Pages: 15

DOI: 10.2174/157015912803217279

Price: $65


Objectives: To review the evidence of the involvement of the Wnt signalling pathway in mood disorders and in the action of drugs used to treat these disorders.

Methods: We performed a careful PubMed search using as keywords all possible terms relevant to the Wnt pathway and crossing them with each of four areas, i.e., developmental effects, behavioural effects, mood disorders, and drugs used in their treatment. Papers were selected on the basis of their content and their data used for discussion.

Results: Neurodevelopmental and behavioural data point to the possibility of involvement of the Wnt pathway in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. Clinical and post-mortem data are not sufficient to corroborate a definite role for Wnt alterations in any mood disorder. Combining genetic and pharmacological data, we may state that glycogen synthase kinase is the key molecule in bipolar disorder, as it is connected with many other signalling pathways that were shown to be involved in mood disorders, while Wnt molecules in the hippocampus appear to be mainly involved in depressive disorders.

Conclusions: Altered Wnt signalling may play a role in the pathophysiology of mood disorders, although not a central one. It is premature to draw conclusions regarding the possible usefulness of Wnt manipulations in the treatment of mood disorders.

Keywords: Wingless (Wnt) signalling, Mood Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, Antidepressant Drugs, Mood Stabilising Agents, Antipsychotic Drugs

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