Nitric oxide (NO) has been implicated to play a role in the pathogenesis of depressive disorders. Adrenomedullin (AM) induces vasorelaxation by activating adenylate cyclase and also by stimulating the release of NO. AM immune reactivity is present in the brain, consistent with a role as neurotransmitter. Therefore, it is suggested that these two molecules may play a role together in the brain. We aimed to examine AM and NO in bipolar affective disorder (BPAD). Forty-four patients with BPAD and 21 healthy control subjects were included in this study. DSM-IV diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder (type I, manic episodes) was independently established by two psychiatrists and the Turkish version of the Bech-Rafaelson Mania Scale was administered. Also, a semistructured form was used to ascertain several sociodemographic and clinical variables of the patients. AM and NO were studied in plasma. The mean value of plasma NO levels in the BPAD group of 46.58 ± 13.97 µmol/l was significantly higher than that of controls (31.81 ± 8.14 µmol/l) (z = –4.15, p = 0.000). Mean plasma AM levels were found to be increased in patients with BPAD (35.13 ± 5.26 pmol/l) compared to controls (16.22 ± 3.02 pmol/l) (z = –6.16, p = 0.000). AM levels of BPAD patients were approximately 2-fold higher than controls. AM levels were positively correlated with the duration of hospitalization for the current episode and negatively correlated with the total duration of illness. Both NO and AM may have a pathophysiological role in BPAD (type I, manic episodes) and the clinical symptomatology and prognosis of BPAD.

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