Dysregulated Prefrontal Cortical RhoA Signal Transduction in Bipolar Disorder with Psychosis: New Implications for Disease Pathophysiology

Bailey A. Kermath, Amanda M. Vanderplow, Michael E. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


While research has identified alterations in dorsolateral prefrontal cortical function as a key factor to the etiology of bipolar disorder, few studies have uncovered robust changes in protein signal transduction pathways in this disorder. Given the direct relevance of protein-based expressional alterations to cellular functions and because many of the key regulatory mechanisms for the disease pathogenesis likely include alterations in protein activity rather than changes in expression alone, the identification of alterations in discrete signal transduction pathways in bipolar disorder would have broad implications for understanding the disease pathophysiology. As prior microarray data point to a previously unrecognized involvement of the RhoA network in bipolar disorder, here we investigate the protein expression and activity of key components of a RhoA signal transduction pathway in dorsolateral prefrontal cortical homogenates from subjects with bipolar disorder. The results of this investigation implicate overactivation of prefrontal cortical RhoA signaling in specific subtypes of bipolar disorder. The specificity of these findings is demonstrated by a lack of comparable changes in schizophrenia; however, our findings do identify convergence between both disorders at the level of activity-mediated actin cytoskeletal regulation. These findings have implications for understanding the altered cortical synaptic connectivity of bipolar disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-71
Number of pages13
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Arhgef11
  • PDZ-RhoGEF
  • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • neuropsychiatric
  • signal transduction


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