Francesco Papaleo

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The COMT (catechol-O-methyltransferase) gene has been linked to a spectrum of human phenotypes, including cognition, anxiety, pain sensitivity and psychosis. Doubts about its clinical impact exist, however, because of the complexity of human COMT polymorphism and clinical variability. We generated transgenic mice overexpressing a human COMT-Val polymorphism(More)
The negative affective symptoms of opiate withdrawal powerfully motivate drug-seeking behavior and may trigger relapse to heroin abuse. To date, no medications exist that effectively relieve the negative affective symptoms of opiate withdrawal. The corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) system has been hypothesized to mediate the motivational effects of drug(More)
Dysbindin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, but little is known about how dysbindin affects neuronal function in the circuitry underlying psychosis and related behaviors. Using a dysbindin knockout line (dys(-/-)) derived from the natural dysbindin mutant Sandy mice, we have explored the role of dysbindin in dopamine signaling and(More)
Dysbindin-1 regulates D2-receptor trafficking and is implicated in schizophrenia and related cognitive abnormalities, but whether this molecular effect mediates the clinical manifestations of the disorder is unknown. We explored in dysbindin-1-deficient mice (dys-/-) (1) schizophrenia-related behaviors, (2) molecular and electrophysiological changes in(More)
Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) and ErbB4, critical neurodevelopmental genes, are implicated in schizophrenia, but the mediating mechanisms are unknown. Here we identify a genetically regulated, pharmacologically targetable, risk pathway associated with schizophrenia and with ErbB4 genetic variation involving increased expression of a PI3K-linked ErbB4 receptor (CYT-1)(More)
Cognitive functions are highly heritable and the impact of complex genetic interactions, though undoubtedly important, has received little investigation. Here we show in an animal model and in a human neuroimaging experiment a consistent non-linear interaction between two genes--catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) and dysbindin (dys; dystrobrevin-binding(More)
Altered motivational processes might participate to the physiopathology of eating-related disorders. The endogenous opioid system is thought to mediate the hedonic properties of food intake. To assess the role for the micro-opioid receptor (MOR) pathway in the motivational properties of food intake, in the present study we tested wild-type and MOR-deficient(More)
BACKGROUND Alterations in executive control and cognitive flexibility, such as attentional set-shifting abilities, are core features of several neuropsychiatric diseases. The most widely used neuropsychological tests for the evaluation of attentional set shifting in humans are the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test(More)
Cognitive dysfunction is a core feature of schizophrenia. Growing evidence indicates that a wide variety of genetic mutations and polymorphisms impact cognition and may thus be implicated in various aspects of this mental disorder. Despite differences between human and rodent brain structure and function, genetic mouse models have contributed critical(More)
Escape from the extremely stressful opiate withdrawal syndrome may motivate opiate seeking and taking. The corticotropin-releasing factor receptor-1 (CRF1) pathway mediates behavioral and endocrine responses to stress. Here, we report that genetic inactivation (CRF1-/-) as well as pharmacological antagonism of the CRF/CRF1 receptor pathway increased and(More)