Gianluca Ursini

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Dopamine modulation of neuronal activity during memory tasks identifies a nonlinear inverted-U shaped function. Both the dopamine transporter (DAT) and dopamine D(2) receptors (encoded by DRD(2)) critically regulate dopamine signaling in the striatum and in prefrontal cortex during memory. Moreover, in vitro studies have demonstrated that DAT and D(2)(More)
BACKGROUND Variation of the gene coding for D2 receptors (DRD2) has been associated with risk for schizophrenia and with working memory deficits. A functional intronic SNP (rs1076560) predicts relative expression of the two D2 receptors isoforms, D2S (mainly pre-synaptic) and D2L (mainly post-synaptic). However, the effect of functional genetic variation of(More)
DNA methylation at CpG dinucleotides is associated with gene silencing, stress, and memory. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val(158) allele in rs4680 is associated with differential enzyme activity, stress responsivity, and prefrontal activity during working memory (WM), and it creates a CpG dinucleotide. We report that methylation of the Val(158)(More)
Defects in brain development are believed to contribute toward the onset of neuropsychiatric disorders, but identifying specific underlying mechanisms has proven difficult. Here, we took a multifaceted approach to investigate why 15q11.2 copy number variants are prominent risk factors for schizophrenia and autism. First, we show that human iPSC-derived(More)
The D2/AKT1/GSK-3β signaling pathway has been involved in the downstream intracellular effects of dopamine, in the pathophysiology of cognitive deficits and related brain activity in schizophrenia, as well as in response to treatment with antipsychotics. Polymorphisms in the D2 (DRD2 rs1076560) and AKT1 (AKT1 rs1130233) genes have been associated with their(More)
The default mode network (DMN) comprises a set of brain regions with "increased" activity during rest relative to cognitive processing. Activity in the DMN is associated with functional connections with the striatum and dopamine (DA) levels in this brain region. A functional single-nucleotide polymorphism within the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2,(More)
Personality traits related to emotion processing are, at least in part, heritable and genetically determined. Dopamine D(2) receptor signaling is involved in modulation of emotional behavior and activity of associated brain regions such as the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. An intronic single nucleotide polymorphism within the D(2) receptor gene (DRD2)(More)
Both cannabis use and the dopamine receptor (DRD2) gene have been associated with schizophrenia, psychosis-like experiences, and cognition. However, there are no published data investigating whether genetically determined variation in DRD2 dopaminergic signaling might play a role in individual susceptibility to cannabis-associated psychosis. We genotyped(More)
Epigenetic mechanisms can mediate gene-environment interactions relevant for complex disorders. The BDNF gene is crucial for development and brain plasticity, is sensitive to environmental stressors, such as hypoxia, and harbors the functional SNP rs6265 (Val(66)Met), which creates or abolishes a CpG dinucleotide for DNA methylation. We found that(More)