Epigenetic and Genetic Aberrations of the Brain Dopaminergic System in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: Achievements and Prospective


Hamid Mostafavi Abdolmaleky 1 , * , Hamid Reza Ahmadkhaniha 2 , Shabnam Nohesara 2 , Cassandra L Smith 3

1 Departments of Medicine (Genetics Program), Boston University Schools of Medicine Boston, Boston, United States

2 Department of Psychiatry, Tehran Psychiatric Institute and Mental Health Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS), Tehran, Iran

3 Molecular Biotechnology Research Laboratory, Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Biology, and Pharmacology, Boston University, Boston,MA, United States

How to Cite: Abdolmaleky H M, Ahmadkhaniha H R, Nohesara S, Smith C L. Epigenetic and Genetic Aberrations of the Brain Dopaminergic System in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: Achievements and Prospective, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2008 ; 2(1):4-13.


Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 2 (1); 4-13
Published Online: January 31, 2008
Article Type: Review Article
Received: December 08, 2007
Accepted: January 01, 2008


The molecular mechanisms of the fact that more than 50% of the individuals with the same genetic make up (e.g. identical twins in schizophrenia) do not show the same psychiatric phenotype remained undefined in psychiatry. This along with the failure to find responsible genes with major effects in psychiatric disorders and lack of consistency of genetic association studies led to the current unanimous conclusion that, in addition to the genetic factors, environmental and epigenetic factors influence the functions of brain and the presentation of the symptoms in mental diseases. Here we reviewed the potential epigenetic dysregulations of genes related to dopaminergic (DAergic) system. A comprehensive genetic and epigenetic analysis of the DAergic and the interacting pathways such as serotoninergic and glutaminergic systems could help to understand the molecular bases of the differences in disease severity in individuals with similar or identical genetic make-up that can assist for the identification of novel targets with therapeutic and preventive applications.


Full text is available in the PDF.


  • 1.

    References are available in the PDF.

  • © 2008, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.