Accumulating evidence has shown the importance of glial cells in the neurobiology of
bipolar disorder. Activated microglia and inflammatory cytokines have been pointed out as potential
biomarkers of bipolar disorder. Indeed, recent studies have shown that bipolar disorder involves
microglial activation in the hippocampus and alterations in peripheral cytokines, suggesting a potential
link between neuroinflammation and peripheral toxicity. These abnormalities may also be
the biological underpinnings of outcomes related to neuroprogression, such as cognitive impairment
and brain changes. Additionally, astrocytes may have a role in the progression of bipolar disorder,
as these cells amplify inflammatory response and maintain glutamate homeostasis, preventing excitotoxicity.
The present review aims to discuss neuron-glia interactions and their role in the pathophysiology
and treatment of bipolar disorder.
Keywords: Bipolar disorder, mania, neuron, glia, microglia, astrocyte, oligodendrocyte, brain-blood barrier.
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