Evidence of altered metabolism of cellular membranes in bipolar disorder comorbid with post-traumatic stress disorder

Faramarz Jabbari-zadeh, Bo Cao, Jeffrey A. Stanley, Yang Liu, Mon Ju Wu, Jonika Tannous, Mizuki Lopez, Marsal Sanches, Benson Mwangi, Giovana B. Zunta-Soares, Jair C. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (¹H MRS) studies, aberrant levels of choline-containing compounds that include glycerophosphocholine plus phosphocholine (GPC+PC), can signify alterations in the metabolism of cellular membrane phospholipids (MPLs) from a healthy baseline. In a recent ¹H MRS study, we reported increased GPC+PC in cortical and subcortical areas of adult patients with bipolar disorder I (BP-I). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can worsen the severity of BP-I, but it is unclear whether the effect of a PTSD comorbidity in BP-I is associated with altered MPL metabolism. The purpose of this study was to re-investigate the ¹H MRS data to determine whether the regional extent of elevated GPC+PC was greater in BP-I patients with PTSD (BP-I/wPTSD) compared to BP-I without comorbid PTSD (BP-I/woPTSD) patients and healthy controls. GPC+PC levels from four brain areas [the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), anterior-dorsal ACC, caudate, and putamen] were measured in 14 BP-I/wPTSD, 36 BP-I/woPTSD, and 44 healthy controls using a multi-voxel 1H MRS approach on a 3 Tesla system with high spatial resolution and absolute quantification. Results show a significant increase in GPC+PC levels from the caudate and putamen of BP-I/wPTSD patients compared to healthy controls (P<0.05) and in the putamen compared to BP-I/woPTSD patients (P<0.05). These findings are consistent with evidence of elevated degradation of MPLs in the neuropil that is more pronounced in BP-I patients with comorbid PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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