The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology

Brief Reports

Possible relationship between mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms and lithium response in bipolar disorder

Shinsuke Washizuka a1, Akifumi Ikeda a2, Nobumasa Kato a3 and Tadafumi Kato a1c1
a1 Laboratory for Molecular Dynamics of Mental Disorders, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Saitama, Japan
a2 Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kyorin University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
a3 Department of Neuropsychiatry, University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

Article author query
washizuka s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
ikeda a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
kato n   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
kato t   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Although many investigators have been searching for genetic markers to predict lithium response in bipolar disorders, no genetic predictor has been established yet. We previously reported the association of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) 5178 and 10398 polymorphisms with bipolar disorder. The objective of this study is to clarify whether these mtDNA polymorphisms can predict response to maintenance lithium treatment in bipolar patients. We examined these polymorphisms and some clinical variables in 54 bipolar patients. A logistic regression analysis was performed and revealed that patients carrying the 10398A polymorphism showed a significantly better response to lithium (p=0.03). Some clinical variables such as sex, age at onset, and rapid cycling also showed a significant association with lithium response in univariate analysis (χ2 test, p<0.05). Our findings suggest that the mtDNA 10398 polymorphism might be related to maintenance lithium treatment response.

(Received November 3 2002)
(Reviewed January 29 2003)
(Revised February 16 2003)
(Accepted February 27 2003)

Key Words: Bipolar disorder; lithium response; mitochondrial DNA; pharmacogenetics; treatment.

c1 Dr T. Kato, Laboratory for Molecular Dynamics of Mental Disorders, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan. Tel.: +81-48-467-6949 Fax: +81-48-467-6947 E-mail:

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