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    Michael Mccarthy

    TitleAssociate Adjunct Professor
    SchoolUniversity of California, San Diego
    DepartmentPsychiatry
    Address9500 Gilman Drive #9116-A
    CA La Jolla 92093
    Phone858-642-1520
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      Biography

      Dr. McCarthy earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and Psychology from the University of New Mexico, before completing his doctoral training in medicine and neuroscience at Ohio State University. Dr. McCarthy developed an interest in Bipolar Disorder during his psychiatry residency at UCSD (2005-2009), and subsequently completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in the molecular biology of mood disorders and chronobiology at UCSD. Dr McCarthy joined the UCSD faculty in 2011. He is presently sees patients in the VA San Diego mood-sleep clinic, is the principle investigator on funded basic and clinical research projects in Bipolar Disorder. He is the field editor for neurobiology for Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, and a member of the UCSD Clinical Translation Research Institute (CTRI), and Center for Circadian Biology (CCB).

      Research Interests

      Due to regular intervals of light and dark caused by the Earth’s rotation around the sun, circadian clock genes have been selected through evolution to assist living organisms (including humans) in dealing with changes in temperature, food availability and social interaction. These genes have been shown to govern not only sleep wake behaviors, but also the brain’s reward and motivation systems. For these reasons, clock genes have been implicated in mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and major depression, and also substances abuse disorders like alcoholism. Clinically, the potential for clock gene influence is reinforced by features of these illnesses in which the commonly encountered alterations in sleep wake cycles, appetite, and other rhythmic behaviors are responsive to light availability and/or season. Similarly, lithium, a medication for treating mood disorders, has effects on rhythmic daily behaviors and affects the expression of several clock genes.

      In the laboratory, we are using cell lines and DNA from psychiatric patients to examine circadian clock genes. We measure clock gene expression using bioluminescent reporter assays to determine if their rhythms are disturbed relative to cells from unaffected subjects, or if the expression rhythms respond differentially to conditions like lithium treatment or stress. We also examine genetic variants in candidate clock genes to determine if these are associated with clinical features of mood disorders such as lithium response. Where possible, we link associated genetic variants to functional differences in gene regulation.

      Clinical Focus

      I treat veterans suffering from disturbances in mood where bipolar disorder is considered as likely in the differential diagnosis. Therefore, many of my patients have bipolar disorder, but others may be diagnosed with major depression, personality disorders or psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. Many patients have multiple diagnoses, including post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders. In some cases, I use pharmacogenetic tools or collect genetic samples in hopes of establishing biological predictors of medication response in the future.


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      Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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      1. Cronin P, McCarthy MJ, Lim AS, Salmon DP, Galasko D, Masliah E, De Jager PL, Bennett DA, Desplats P. Circadian alterations during early stages of Alzheimer's disease are associated with aberrant cycles of DNA methylation in BMAL1. Alzheimers Dement. 2016 Nov 21. PMID: 27883893.
        View in: PubMed
      2. McCarthy MJ, Wei H, Landgraf D, Le Roux MJ, Welsh DK. Disinhibition of the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase restores the amplification of circadian rhythms by lithium in cells from bipolar disorder patients. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 Aug; 26(8):1310-9. PMID: 27216486.
        View in: PubMed
      3. Oedegaard KJ, Alda M, Anand A, Andreassen OA, Balaraman Y, Berrettini WH, Bhattacharjee A, Brennand KJ, Burdick KE, Calabrese JR, Calkin CV, Claasen A, Coryell WH, Craig D, DeModena A, Frye M, Gage FH, Gao K, Garnham J, Gershon E, Jakobsen P, Leckband SG, McCarthy MJ, McInnis MG, Maihofer AX, Mertens J, Morken G, Nievergelt CM, Nurnberger J, Pham S, Schoeyen H, Shekhtman T, Shilling PD, Szelinger S, Tarwater B, Yao J, Zandi PP, Kelsoe JR. The Pharmacogenomics of Bipolar Disorder study (PGBD): identification of genes for lithium response in a prospective sample. BMC Psychiatry. 2016; 16(1):129. PMID: 27150464.
        View in: PubMed
      4. McCarthy M. Suicide rates rise sharply in the US, figures show. BMJ. 2016 04 25; 353:i2355. PMID: 27112501.
        View in: PubMed
      5. Landgraf D, Joiner WJ, McCarthy MJ, Kiessling S, Barandas R, Young JW, Cermakian N, Welsh DK. The mood stabilizer valproic acid opposes the effects of dopamine on circadian rhythms. Neuropharmacology. 2016 Aug; 107:262-70. PMID: 27033596.
        View in: PubMed
      6. Hou L, Heilbronner U, Degenhardt F, Adli M, Akiyama K, Akula N, Ardau R, Arias B, Backlund L, Banzato CE, Benabarre A, Bengesser S, Bhattacharjee AK, Biernacka JM, Birner A, Brichant-Petitjean C, Bui ET, Cervantes P, Chen GB, Chen HC, Chillotti C, Cichon S, Clark SR, Colom F, Cousins DA, Cruceanu C, Czerski PM, Dantas CR, Dayer A, Étain B, Falkai P, Forstner AJ, Frisén L, Fullerton JM, Gard S, Garnham JS, Goes FS, Grof P, Gruber O, Hashimoto R, Hauser J, Herms S, Hoffmann P, Hofmann A, Jamain S, Jiménez E, Kahn JP, Kassem L, Kittel-Schneider S, Kliwicki S, König B, Kusumi I, Lackner N, Laje G, Landén M, Lavebratt C, Leboyer M, Leckband SG, Jaramillo CA, MacQueen G, Manchia M, Martinsson L, Mattheisen M, McCarthy MJ, McElroy SL, Mitjans M, Mondimore FM, Monteleone P, Nievergelt CM, Nöthen MM, Ösby U, Ozaki N, Perlis RH, Pfennig A, Reich-Erkelenz D, Rouleau GA, Schofield PR, Schubert KO, Schweizer BW, Seemüller F, Severino G, Shekhtman T, Shilling PD, Shimoda K, Simhandl C, Slaney CM, Smoller JW, Squassina A, Stamm T, Stopkova P, Tighe SK, Tortorella A, Turecki G, Volkert J, Witt S, Wright A, Young LT, Zandi PP, Potash JB, DePaulo JR, Bauer M, Reininghaus EZ, Novák T, Aubry JM, Maj M, Baune BT, Mitchell PB, Vieta E, Frye MA, Rybakowski JK, Kuo PH, Kato T, Grigoroiu-Serbanescu M, Reif A, Del Zompo M, Bellivier F, Schalling M, Wray NR, Kelsoe JR, Alda M, Rietschel M, McMahon FJ, Schulze TG. Genetic variants associated with response to lithium treatment in bipolar disorder: a genome-wide association study. Lancet. 2016 Mar 12; 387(10023):1085-93. PMID: 26806518.
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      7. Barandas R, Landgraf D, McCarthy MJ, Welsh DK. Circadian Clocks as Modulators of Metabolic Comorbidity in Psychiatric Disorders. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2015 Dec; 17(12):98. PMID: 26483181.
        View in: PubMed
      8. Mertens J, Wang QW, Kim Y, Yu DX, Pham S, Yang B, Zheng Y, Diffenderfer KE, Zhang J, Soltani S, Eames T, Schafer ST, Boyer L, Marchetto MC, Nurnberger JI, Calabrese JR, Oedegaard KJ, McCarthy MJ, Zandi PP, Alda M, Nievergelt CM. Erratum: Differential responses to lithium in hyperexcitable neurons from patients with bipolar disorder. Nature. 2016 Feb 11; 530(7589):242. PMID: 26605530.
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      9. Mertens J, Wang QW, Kim Y, Yu DX, Pham S, Yang B, Zheng Y, Diffenderfer KE, Zhang J, Soltani S, Eames T, Schafer ST, Boyer L, Marchetto MC, Nurnberger JI, Calabrese JR, Ødegaard KJ, McCarthy MJ, Zandi PP, Alba M, Nievergelt CM. Differential responses to lithium in hyperexcitable neurons from patients with bipolar disorder. Nature. 2015 Nov 5; 527(7576):95-9. PMID: 26524527.
        View in: PubMed
      10. McCarthy MJ, Le Roux MJ, Wei H, Beesley S, Kelsoe JR, Welsh DK. Calcium channel genes associated with bipolar disorder modulate lithium's amplification of circadian rhythms. Neuropharmacology. 2016 Feb; 101:439-48. PMID: 26476274.
        View in: PubMed
      11. McCarthy M. Only 30% of Americans with HIV have virus in check, finds report. BMJ. 2014; 349:g7329. PMID: 25429969.
        View in: PubMed
      12. Landgraf D, McCarthy MJ, Welsh DK. Circadian clock and stress interactions in the molecular biology of psychiatric disorders. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014 Oct; 16(10):483. PMID: 25135782.
        View in: PubMed
      13. McCarthy MJ, Liang S, Spadoni AD, Kelsoe JR, Simmons AN. Whole brain expression of bipolar disorder associated genes: structural and genetic analyses. PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e100204. PMID: 24941232.
        View in: PubMed
      14. Salloum NC, McCarthy MJ, Leckband SG, Kelsoe JR. Towards the clinical implementation of pharmacogenetics in bipolar disorder. BMC Med. 2014; 12(1):90. PMID: 24885933.
        View in: PubMed
      15. Landgraf D, McCarthy MJ, Welsh DK. The role of the circadian clock in animal models of mood disorders. Behav Neurosci. 2014 Jun; 128(3):344-59. PMID: 24660657.
        View in: PubMed
      16. McCarthy MJ. Oxidative stress: a link between cardiovascular disease and psychiatric illness? Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2014 Sep; 130(3):161-2. PMID: 24660876.
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      17. Frank E, Sidor MM, Gamble KL, Cirelli C, Sharkey KM, Hoyle N, Tikotzky L, Talbot LS, McCarthy MJ, Hasler BP. Circadian clocks, brain function, and development. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013 Dec; 1306:43-67. PMID: 24329517.
        View in: PubMed
      18. McCarthy MJ, Wei H, Marnoy Z, Darvish RM, McPhie DL, Cohen BM, Welsh DK. Genetic and clinical factors predict lithium's effects on PER2 gene expression rhythms in cells from bipolar disorder patients. Transl Psychiatry. 2013; 3:e318. PMID: 24150227.
        View in: PubMed
      19. McCarthy MJ, Fernandes M, Kranzler HR, Covault JM, Welsh DK. Circadian clock period inversely correlates with illness severity in cells from patients with alcohol use disorders. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013 Aug; 37(8):1304-10. PMID: 23550834.
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      20. Fornaro M, McCarthy MJ, De Berardis D, De Pasquale C, Tabaton M, Martino M, Colicchio S, Cattaneo CI, D'Angelo E, Fornaro P. Adjunctive agomelatine therapy in the treatment of acute bipolar II depression: a preliminary open label study. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013; 9:243-51. PMID: 23430979.
        View in: PubMed
      21. McCarthy MJ, Welsh DK. Cellular circadian clocks in mood disorders. J Biol Rhythms. 2012 Oct; 27(5):339-52. PMID: 23010657.
        View in: PubMed
      22. McCarthy MJ, Nievergelt CM, Kelsoe JR, Welsh DK. A survey of genomic studies supports association of circadian clock genes with bipolar disorder spectrum illnesses and lithium response. PLoS One. 2012; 7(2):e32091. PMID: 22384149.
        View in: PubMed
      23. McCarthy MJ, Duchemin AM, Neff NH, Hadjiconstantinou M. CREB involvement in the regulation of striatal prodynorphin by nicotine. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012 May; 221(1):143-53. PMID: 22086359.
        View in: PubMed
      24. Kripke DF, Nievergelt CM, Tranah GJ, Murray SS, McCarthy MJ, Rex KM, Parimi N, Kelsoe JR. Polymorphisms in melatonin synthesis pathways: possible influences on depression. J Circadian Rhythms. 2011; 9:8. PMID: 21827647.
        View in: PubMed
      25. McCarthy MJ. The eyes are the window to the brain: reviewing oculomotor abnormalities in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2011 Aug; 124(2):85-6. PMID: 21740402.
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      26. McCarthy MJ, Zhang H, Neff NH, Hadjiconstantinou M. Desensitization of d-opioid receptors in nucleus accumbens during nicotine withdrawal. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2011 Feb; 213(4):735-44. PMID: 20941594.
        View in: PubMed
      27. McCarthy MJ, Leckband SG, Kelsoe JR. Pharmacogenetics of lithium response in bipolar disorder. Pharmacogenomics. 2010 Oct; 11(10):1439-65. PMID: 21047205.
        View in: PubMed
      28. McCarthy MJ, Zhang H, Neff NH, Hadjiconstantinou M. Nicotine withdrawal and kappa-opioid receptors. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Jun; 210(2):221-9. PMID: 19806344.
        View in: PubMed
      29. McCarthy MJ, Barrett TB, Nissen S, Kelsoe JR, Turner EE. Allele specific analysis of the ADRBK2 gene in lymphoblastoid cells from bipolar disorder patients. J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Mar; 44(4):201-8. PMID: 19766236.
        View in: PubMed
      30. McCarthy MJ. Internet monitoring of suicide risk in the population. J Affect Disord. 2010 May; 122(3):277-9. PMID: 19748681.
        View in: PubMed
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