Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2017 May;15(2):100-114. 10.9758/cpn.2017.15.2.100.

Wnt and GSK3 Signaling Pathways in Bipolar Disorder: Clinical and Therapeutic Implications

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Islamic International Medical College, Riphah International University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.


The neurobiology of bipolar disorder, a chronic and systemic ailment is not completely understood. The bipolar phenotype manifests in myriad ways, and psychopharmacological agents like lithium have long term beneficial effects. The enzyme glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) has come into focus, as lithium and several other mood stabilizing medications inhibit its activity. This kinase and its key upstream modulator, Wnt are dysregulated in mood disorders and there is a growing impetus to delineate the chief substrates involved in the development of these illnesses. In May 2016, a comprehensive literature search was undertaken which revealed that there is over activity of GSK3 in bipolar disorder with deleterious downstream effects like proinflammatory status, increased oxidative stress, and circadian dysregulation leading to declining neurotrophic support and enhanced apoptosis of neural elements. By developing specific GSK3 inhibitors the progressive worsening in bipolar disorder can be forestalled with improved prospects for the sufferers.


Bipolar disorder; Glycogen synthase kinase 3; Wnt; Protein kinase B; β-catenin; Canonical Wnt pathway
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