A gene, touted as the "despair" gene, which earlier had no relation with mood disorders, has now been found to have a link with bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenic conditions, according to pharmacy scientists at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). The researchers have identified antidepressant and anti-anxiety behaviors in tests of mice lacking the gene. Dr. Elisabeth Barbier and Dr. Jia Bei Wang ran a series of standard behavioral tests on mice without the PKCI/HINT1 gene, concluding that it may have an important role in mood regulation. Mice in the study, that had what is being called the "despair" gene, eventually gave up trying to avoid apparent danger in tests involving swimming or exposure to light-conditions disliked by mice. Mice without the gene kept trying to escape from danger, perhaps abnormally. "The knockout mice [without the gene] displayed behaviors indicative of changes in mood function, such as increased perseverance and reduced anxiety in open spaces," said Wang. "We don't yet know why the deletion of the gene altered the mood status of the mice," she added. She said that the protein encoded by the gene could be a potential target for development of diagnostic or therapeutic agents that one day might be used for depression, bipolar disorders or schizophrenia. The researchers discovered the gene while studying the biological receptors in brain cells that respond to opioid drugs. "We are showing the scientific community that this is an important protein that may have something to do with schizophrenia, bipolar [disorders], and depression. But we don't know how it works. Certainly this opens the door for work on discovering the mechanism, how it changes behavior. This is the first paper to show that this protein is important to these conditions," she said. The study has been published in the journal BMC Neuroscience.Source: ANITHK << Regular Exercise Reduces Men's Risk of Brain Damage by Strok... Inflammatory Disorder may be Caused by Genetic Defects >> Recommended Reading Depression Depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting approximately 340 million people in the world. No one is immune from depression - it occurs in people of all social classes, all countries and all cultural settings. READ MORE Suicide Suicide is an act of ending one's own life and it usually results from emotional isolations and inability to adjust and cope with one's environment. READ MORE Test Your Happiness Have you ever tested your happiness level? Test your happiness and find out how happy you are with your life. READ MORE Andropause / Male Menopause Andropause or male menopause causing low libido in a man is due to decreasing level of male hormones, like testosterone. Symptoms of andropause are depression, irritability. READ MORE Bereavement Bereavement is a word used to denote grief, pain and sadness following the loss of a loved one. READ MORE DNA Finger Printing DNA fingerprinting is a technique which helps forensic scientists and legal experts solve crimes, identity thefts, legal suits and terrorism cases. READ MORE Holistic Management for Depression Depression is a common disorder and many worldwide suffer from depression. Early recognition of symptoms and signs of depression can help in taking a holistic approach to the management of depression. READ MORE Is Your Man Moody? Women get confused by the behavior of men in their lives. It is time they realize that men too have frequent mood swings. READ MORE Pregnancy and Complications In-depth guide for expecting mothers to overcome health complications related to early or late pregnancy. Anemia, urinary infection, diabetes, premature labor to name a few. READ MORE Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by symptoms of thought, behavior and social problems. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Blood Donation - Recipients Indian Medical Journals Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants More News on: Adolescence DepressionDNA Finger PrintingDepressionSchizophreniaStress Relief Through Alternative MedicineAndropause / Male MenopausePregnancy and ComplicationsBereavementHolistic Management for DepressionIs Your Man Moody?