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Maternal care influences hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function in the rat through epigenetic programming of glucocorticoid receptor expression. In humans, childhood abuse alters HPA stress responses and increases the risk of suicide. We examined epigenetic differences in a neuron-specific glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) promoter between postmortem(More)
BACKGROUND Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is characterised by elevated impulsive aggression and increased risk for criminal behaviour and incarceration. Deficient activity of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene is suggested to contribute to serotonergic system dysregulation strongly associated with impulsive aggression and antisocial criminality. (More)
Increasing evidence suggests that cortical astrocytic function is disrupted in mood disorders and suicide. The fine neuroanatomy of astrocytes, however, remains to be investigated in these psychiatric conditions. In this study, we performed a detailed morphometric analysis of 3D-reconstructed gray and white matter astrocytes in Golgi-impregnated anterior(More)
Psychiatric disorders are complex multifactorial illnesses involving chronic alterations in neural circuit structure and function. While genetic factors are important in the etiology of disorders such as depression and addiction, relatively high rates of discordance among identical twins clearly indicate the importance of additional mechanisms.(More)
BACKGROUND Childhood abuse alters hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function and increases the risk of suicide. Hippocampal glucocorticoid receptor (GR) activation regulates HPA activity, and human GR expression (hGR) is reduced in the hippocampus of suicide completers with a history of childhood abuse compared with controls. The abuse-related decrease(More)
Improved treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) remains elusive because of the limited understanding of its underlying biological mechanisms. It is likely that stress-induced maladaptive transcriptional regulation in limbic neural circuits contributes to the development of MDD, possibly through epigenetic factors that regulate chromatin structure. We(More)
New atypical antipsychotics show a greater affinity to serotonergic rather than to dopamine receptors, suggesting that serotonin (5-HT) has a major role in the pathophysiology and treatment of schizophrenia. The goal of this study was to characterise the response of pyramidal neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to 5-HT and NMDA before and after(More)
The nucleus accumbens (NAc) has a central role in the mechanism of action of drugs of abuse. The major neuronal type within the NAc is the GABAergic medium spiny neuron (MSN), with two major subpopulations defined-termed D1-type and D2-type MSNs-based on the predominant dopamine receptor expressed. However, very little is known about the contribution of(More)
Melatonin (MLT) and serotonin (5-HT) are two biosynthetically related compounds implicated in several common physiological functions and the etiology of mood disorders. How they interact, though, is not yet fully understood. In this study, single-unit extracellular recordings were used to monitor dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) 5-HT neuronal activity in(More)