Antidepressants that increase mitochondrial energetics may elevate risk of treatment-emergent mania

Manuel Gardea-Resendez, Brandon J. Coombes, Marin Veldic, Susannah J. Tye, Francisco Romo-Nava, Aysegul Ozerdem, Miguel L. Prieto, Alfredo Cuellar-Barboza, Nicolas A. Nunez, Balwinder Singh, Richard S. Pendegraft, Alessandro Miola, Susan L. McElroy, Joanna M. Biernacka, Eva Morava, Tamas Kozicz, Mark A. Frye*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Preclinical evidence suggests that antidepressants (ADs) may differentially influence mitochondrial energetics. This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between mitochondrial function and illness vulnerability in bipolar disorder (BD), specifically risk of treatment-emergent mania (TEM). Participants with BD already clinically phenotyped as TEM+ (n = 176) or TEM− (n = 516) were further classified whether the TEM associated AD, based on preclinical studies, increased (Mito+, n = 600) or decreased (Mito−, n = 289) mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) activity. Comparison of TEM+ rates between Mito+ and Mito− ADs was performed using generalized estimating equations to account for participants exposed to multiple ADs while adjusting for sex, age at time of enrollment into the biobank and BD type (BD-I/schizoaffective vs. BD-II). A total of 692 subjects (62.7% female, 91.4% White, mean age 43.0 ± 14.0 years) including 176 cases (25.3%) of TEM+ and 516 cases (74.7%) of TEM- with previous exposure to Mito+ and/or Mito- antidepressants were identified. Adjusting for age, sex and BD subtype, TEM+ was more frequent with antidepressants that increased (24.7%), versus decreased (13.5%) mitochondrial energetics (OR = 2.21; p = 0.000009). Our preliminary retrospective data suggests there may be merit in reconceptualizing AD classification, not solely based on monoaminergic conventional drug mechanism of action, but additionally based on mitochondrial energetics. Future prospective clinical studies on specific antidepressants and mitochondrial activity are encouraged. Recognizing pharmacogenomic investigation of drug response may extend or overlap to genomics of disease risk, future studies should investigate potential interactions between mitochondrial mechanisms of disease risk and drug response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1020-1026
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

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