Objective: To determine whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that have been associated with bipolar illness are associated with physiological dysfunction.
Methods: Lymphoblastoid cell lines (n=30) obtained from bipolar I individuals carrying zero, one, or two copies of a BDNF SNP associated with bipolar illness (rs12273363) were utilized.
Results: Proapoptotic stressors of serum deprivation alone, or serum deprivation combined with the sodium ionophore, monensin, did not alter intracellular proBDNF. Monensin treatment increased mature-BDNF (mBDNF) protein levels (P<0.05). There were no differences related to the presence of SNP or copy number.
Conclusion: rs12273363 does not appear to have functional consequences that would involve its role in bipolar illness.