Dysimmune activation, white matter damage, and stress system over-activity in bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is strongly associated with an immune activation with a predominant Th1/proinflammatory profile and widespread white matter damage. Moreover, the stress system is found to be over-active in this disorder. Finally, specific functional reconfigurations of intrinsic brain activity have been observed during the manic and depressive phases of illness.

This project aims to investigate the specific relationship between these core alterations in bipolar disorder, by using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), arterial spin labeling (ALS), resting-state fMRI, and immunological measurements in patients with bipolar disorder.

The results from this work could help to build a working model of the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder, which may be relevant for detecting new and specific targets for therapeutic interventions.


Magioncalda P*, Martino M*, Tardito S, Sterlini B, Conio B, Marozzi V, Adavastro G, Capobianco L, Russo D, Parodi A, Kalli F, Nasi G, Altosole T, Piaggio N, Northoff G, Fenoglio D, Inglese M, Filaci G, Amore M. White matter microstructure alterations correlate with terminally differentiated CD8+ effector T cell depletion in the peripheral blood in mania: Combined DTI and immunological investigation in the different phases of bipolar disorder. Brain Behav Immun. 2018 Oct. 73:192-204.