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Author: Barbara Ruggeri (27)


Dec
2017

Nociceptin is a key regulator linking environmental stress and alcohol drinking. In a genome-wide methylation analysis, we recently identified an association of a methylated region in the OPRL1 gene with alcohol-use disorders.
Here, we investigate the biological basis of this observation by analysing psychosocial stressors, methylation of the OPRL1 gene, brain response during reward anticipation and alcohol drinking in 660 fourteen-year-old adolescents of the IMAGEN study.

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Dec
1969

The EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project (LEAP) is to date the largest multi-centre, multi-disciplinary observational study on biomarkers for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current paper describes the clinical characteristics of the LEAP cohort and examines age, sex and IQ differences in ASD core symptoms and common co-occurring psychiatric symptoms. A companion paper describes the overall design and experimental protocol and outlines the strategy to identify stratification biomarkers.

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Dec
1969

The tremendous clinical and aetiological diversity among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been a major obstacle to the development of new treatments, as many may only be effective in particular subgroups. Precision medicine approaches aim to overcome this challenge by combining pathophysiologically based treatments with stratification biomarkers that predict which treatment may be most beneficial for particular individuals. However, so far, we have no single validated stratification biomarker for ASD.

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Dec
2017

The fundamental role of the brain-specific myelin transcription factor 1-like (MYT1L) gene in cases of intellectual disability and in the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders is increasingly recognized. Yet, its function remains under-investigated. Here, we identify a network of helix-loop-helix (HLH) transcriptional regulators controlled by MYT1L, as indicated by our analyses in human neural stem cells and in the human brain.

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Dec
2016

KLB is associated with alcohol drinking, and its gene product β-Klotho is necessary for FGF21 regulation of alcohol preference.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2016 Dec 28;113(50):14372-14377. Epub 2016 Nov 28.
Gunter Schumann, Chunyu Liu, Paul O'Reilly, He Gao, Parkyong Song, Bing Xu, Barbara Ruggeri, Najaf Amin, Tianye Jia, Sarah Preis, Marcelo Segura Lepe, Shizuo Akira, Caterina Barbieri, Sebastian Baumeister, Stephane Cauchi, Toni-Kim Clarke, Stefan Enroth, Krista Fischer, Jenni Hällfors, Sarah E Harris, Saskia Hieber, Edith Hofer, Jouke-Jan Hottenga, Åsa Johansson, Peter K Joshi, Niina Kaartinen, Jaana Laitinen, Rozenn Lemaitre, Anu Loukola, Jian'an Luan, Leo-Pekka Lyytikäinen, Massimo Mangino, Ani Manichaikul, Hamdi Mbarek, Yuri Milaneschi, Alireza Moayyeri, Kenneth Mukamal, Christopher Nelson, Jennifer Nettleton, Eemil Partinen, Rajesh Rawal, Antonietta Robino, Lynda Rose, Cinzia Sala, Takashi Satoh, Reinhold Schmidt, Katharina Schraut, Robert Scott, Albert Vernon Smith, John M Starr, Alexander Teumer, Stella Trompet, André G Uitterlinden, Cristina Venturini, Anne-Claire Vergnaud, Niek Verweij, Veronique Vitart, Dragana Vuckovic, Juho Wedenoja, Loic Yengo, Bing Yu, Weihua Zhang, Jing Hua Zhao, Dorret I Boomsma, John Chambers, Daniel I Chasman, Toniolo Daniela, Eco de Geus, Ian Deary, Johan G Eriksson, Tõnu Esko, Volker Eulenburg, Oscar H Franco, Philippe Froguel, Christian Gieger, Hans J Grabe, Vilmundur Gudnason, Ulf Gyllensten, Tamara B Harris, Anna-Liisa Hartikainen, Andrew C Heath, Lynne Hocking, Albert Hofman, Cornelia Huth, Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin, J Wouter Jukema, Jaakko Kaprio, Jaspal S Kooner, Zoltan Kutalik, Jari Lahti, Claudia Langenberg, Terho Lehtimäki, Yongmei Liu, Pamela A F Madden, Nicholas Martin, Alanna Morrison, Brenda Penninx, Nicola Pirastu, Bruce Psaty, Olli Raitakari, Paul Ridker, Richard Rose, Jerome I Rotter, Nilesh J Samani, Helena Schmidt, Tim D Spector, David Stott, David Strachan, Ioanna Tzoulaki, Pim van der Harst, Cornelia M van Duijn, Pedro Marques-Vidal, Peter Vollenweider, Nicholas J Wareham, John B Whitfield, James Wilson, Bruce Wolffenbuttel, Georgy Bakalkin, Evangelos Evangelou, Yun Liu, Kenneth M Rice, Sylvane Desrivières, Steven A Kliewer, David J Mangelsdorf, Christian P Müller, Daniel Levy, Paul Elliott
Excessive alcohol consumption is a major public health problem worldwide. Although drinking habits are known to be inherited, few genes have been identified that are robustly linked to alcohol drinking. We conducted a genome-wide association metaanalysis and replication study among >105,000 individuals of European ancestry and identified β-Klotho (KLB) as a locus associated with alcohol consumption (rs11940694; P = 9.

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Feb
2017

Patients with undiagnosed or rare diseases often remain without a diagnosis for many years. Many are misdiagnosed or treated symptomatically without having an identified underlying disease process. Health care providers in general practice and subspecialists are equipped to diagnose diseases commonly seen.

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Apr
2016

Dysfunctional reward processing is implicated in various mental disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and addictions. Such impairments might involve different components of the reward process, including brain activity during reward anticipation. We examined brain nodes engaged by reward anticipation in 1,544 adolescents and identified a network containing a core striatal node and cortical nodes facilitating outcome prediction and response preparation.

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Feb
2016

Stress arises from an external demand placed on an organism that triggers physiological, cognitive and behavioural responses in order to cope with that request. It is thus an adaptive response useful for the survival of an organism. The objective of this study was to identify and characterize global changes in gene expression in the hippocampus in response to acute stress stimuli, by employing a mouse model of short-term restraint stress.

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Apr
2016

The mesolimbic dopamine system, composed primarily of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area that project to striatal structures, is considered to be the key mediator of reinforcement-related mechanisms in the brain. Prompted by a genome-wide association meta-analysis implicating the Ras-specific guanine nucleotide-releasing factor 2 (RASGRF2) gene in the regulation of alcohol intake in men, we have recently shown that male Rasgrf2(-/-) mice exhibit reduced ethanol intake and preference accompanied by a perturbed mesolimbic dopamine system. We therefore propose that these mice represent a valid model to further elucidate the precise genes and mechanisms regulating mesolimbic dopamine functioning.

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Oct
2015

DNA methylation may contribute to the etiology of complex genetic disorders through its impact on genome integrity and gene expression; it is modulated by DNA-sequence variants, named methylation quantitative trait loci (meQTLs). Most meQTLs influence methylation of a few CpG dinucleotides within short genomic regions (<3 kb). Here, we identified a layered genetic control of DNA methylation at numerous CpGs across a long 300 kb genomic region.

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Jul
2015

Alcohol abuse is highly prevalent, but little is understood about the molecular causes. Here, we report that Ras suppressor 1 (Rsu1) affects ethanol consumption in flies and humans. Drosophila lacking Rsu1 show reduced sensitivity to ethanol-induced sedation.

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Mar
2016

Environmental conditioning is a major trigger for relapse in abstinent addicts. We showed that activation of the neuropeptide S (NPS) system exacerbates reinstatement vulnerability to cocaine and alcohol via stimulation of the hypocretin-1/orexin-A (Hcrt-1/Ox-A) system.
Combining pharmacologic manipulations with immunohistochemistry techniques, we sought to determine how NPS and Hcrt-1/Ox-A systems interact to modulate reinstatement of alcohol seeking in rats.

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Jun
2015

The genetic component of alcohol use disorder is substantial, but monozygotic twin discordance indicates a role for nonheritable differences that could be mediated by epigenetics. Despite growing evidence associating epigenetics and psychiatric disorders, it is unclear how epigenetics, particularly DNA methylation, relate to brain function and behavior, including drinking behavior.
The authors carried out a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation of 18 monozygotic twin pairs discordant for alcohol use disorder and validated differentially methylated regions.

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Dec
1969

Acute stress provides many beneficial effects whereas chronic stress contributes to a variety of human health issues including anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal problems, cardiac disease, sleep disorders and obesity. The goal of this work was to identify, using a rodent model, hippocampal gene signatures associated with prolonged chronic stress representing candidate biomarkers and therapeutic targets for early diagnosis and pharmacological intervention for stress induced disease.
Mice underwent 'restraint stress' over 7 consecutive days and hippocampal gene-expression changes were analyzed at 3, 12 and 24 h following the final restraint treatment.

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Sep
2014

Common variants in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) have been shown to influence social and affective behavior and to moderate the effect of adverse experiences on risk for social-affective problems. However, the intermediate neurobiological mechanisms are not fully understood. Although human functional neuroimaging studies have reported that oxytocin effects on social behavior and emotional states are mediated by amygdala function, animal models indicate that oxytocin receptors in the ventral striatum (VS) modulate sensitivity to social reinforcers.

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Mar
2014

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder with onset during early childhood and typically a life-long course. The majority of ASD cases stems from complex, 'multiple-hit', oligogenic/polygenic underpinnings involving several loci and possibly gene-environment interactions. These multiple layers of complexity spur interest into the identification of biomarkers able to define biologically homogeneous subgroups, predict autism risk prior to the onset of behavioural abnormalities, aid early diagnoses, predict the developmental trajectory of ASD children, predict response to treatment and identify children at risk for severe adverse reactions to psychoactive drugs.

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Oct
2013

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by deficits in reward sensitivity and response inhibition. The relative contribution of these frontostriatal mechanisms to ADHD symptoms and their genetic determinants is largely unexplored.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and genetic analysis of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene, we investigated how striatal and inferior frontal activation patterns contribute to ADHD symptoms depending on MAOA genotype in a sample of adolescent boys (n = 190).

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Jul
2013

Evaluation of acute ataxia in a child poses a dilemma for the clinician in determining the extent and timing of initial screening tests. This article reviews the evidence concerning the diagnostic yield of commonly ordered tests in evaluating the child with acute ataxia. The literature revealed the following frequencies of laboratory screening abnormalities in children with acute ataxia: CT (∼2.

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Apr
2013

Large imaging genetic studies are becoming increasingly common in psychiatric research. In order to fully explore the collected information, analytical strategies that allow comprehensive investigations of the genetic and neural underpinnings of psychiatric disorders are needed. On the basis of our experience with the IMAGEN study, this review evaluates univariate and multivariate analytical strategies for exploring large imaging genetic datasets, with particular focus on reinforcement mechanisms in adolescents.

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Dec
2012

The firing of mesolimbic dopamine neurons is important for drug-induced reinforcement, although underlying genetic factors remain poorly understood. In a recent genome-wide association metaanalysis of alcohol intake, we identified a suggestive association of SNP rs26907 in the ras-specific guanine-nucleotide releasing factor 2 (RASGRF2) gene, encoding a protein that mediates Ca(2+)-dependent activation of the ERK pathway. We performed functional characterization of this gene in relation to alcohol-related phenotypes and mesolimbic dopamine function in both mice and adolescent humans.

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Jan
2013

Recent behavioral, pharmacological and molecular findings have linked the NPS system to drug dependence. Most of the evidence supports the possibility that increased NPS activity may contribute to shaping vulnerability to addiction, especially relapse. However, data suggesting that the anxiolytic-like properties of NPS may have protective effects on addiction have been also published.

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Dec
2011

The PcF Toxin Family (Pfam 09461) includes the characterized phytotoxic protein PcF from Phytophthora cactorum, as well as several predicted protein effectors from other Phytophthora species recently identified by comparative genomics. Here we provide first evidence that such 'putatives', recombinantly expressed in bacteria and purified to homogeneity, similarly to PcF, can trigger defense-related responses on tomato, that is leaf withering and phenylalanine ammonia lyase induction, although with various degrees of effectiveness. In addition, structural prediction by computer-aided homology modeling and subsequent structural/functional comparison after rational engineering of the disulfide-structured protein fold by site-directed mutagenesis, highlighted the surface-exposed conserved amino acid stretch SK(E/C)C as a possible structural determinant responsible for the differential phytotoxicity within this family of cognate protein effectors.

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Apr
2011

Pioglitazone and rosiglitazone belong to the class of thiazolidinediones (TZDs). They were first developed as antioxidants and then approved for the clinical treatment of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. TZDs bind with high affinity and activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) receptors, which in the brain are expressed both in neurons and in glia.

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Nov
2010

Drug addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use. Environmental conditioning factors are among the major determinants of relapse in abstinent cocaine users. Here we describe a role of the neuropeptide S (NPS) system in regulating relapse.

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Jan
2010

Alcoholism is a chronic disease characterized by frequent intoxications followed by withdrawal episodes and relapse to alcohol use. Neuroplastic changes associated with these intoxication and withdrawal cycles are thought to play a key role in disease progression. Recently, it has been shown that neuropeptide S (NPS), a newly deorphanized neuropeptide receptor system, facilitates relapse to alcohol seeking in laboratory animals.

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Feb
2009

Endocrine disruptors include plasticizers, pesticides, detergents, and pharmaceuticals. Turbot and other flatfish are used to characterize the presence of chemicals in the marine environment. Unfortunately, there are relatively few genes of turbot and other flatfish in GenBank, which limits the use of molecular tools such as microarrays and quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to study disruption of endocrine responses in sentinel fish captured by regulatory agencies.

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