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Special Issue "Molecular Insights in Psychiatry"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Neurobiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Massimo Cocchi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medical Science, University of Bologna, Via Tolora di Sopra, 50, 40064, Ozzano Emilia, Italy
Interests: lipid metabolism in humans and experimental animals with a particolar focus on cell membrane and organ function
Prof. Dr. Giovanna Traina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Perugia, Italy
Interests: Gene Expression; Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Cell Culture; Molecular Cell Biology; Neurophysiology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Jack Tuszynski
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Experimental Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1Z2, Canada
Interests: computational drug design; systems biology of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases; tubulin
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Psychiatric diagnosis is rapidly growing the need for a radical turning point. The present diagnostic methods cannot continue to be considered acceptable, because they are almost completely based on the psychiatrist’s opinion, which does not have an objective molecular approach.

Psychopathology is still characterised and defined by descriptive and non-biological criteria, but it will hopefully be possible to characterise it with the addition of new quantitative approaches resulting from molecular research in psychiatry. The error in the clinical psychiatric diagnosis is very high—it ranges from 40% to 70% (Tenth World Day for the Prevention of Suicide, Rome, 2012), and this significantly affects the patient's life.

The biomolecular approach to psychopathology mainly involves cell membrane viscosity, Gsα protein, cytoskeleton and microtubules, ion channels modifications, genetic information, epigenetics, transcriptomics/proteomics, neuroimaging, and animal models. In-depth and integrated knowledge of these aspects can contribute significantly to the diagnostic framework of psychiatric pathology.

The aim of this Special Issue is dedicated to the recent insights and research progress in deciphering the molecular pathways mediating brain function in psychiatry, and to exploit such knowledge in the development of novel molecule-based therapies against psychopathological disorders.

 

Prof. Dr. Massimo Cocchi
Prof. Dr. Giovanna Traina
Prof. Jack Tuszynski
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Cell membrane mobility
  • Gs alpha protein
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Microtubules
  • Ion channels
  • Gut microbiota neurotransmitters
  • Consciousness

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Sounds Stimulation on In Vitro HL1 Cells: A Pilot Study and a Theoretical Physical Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 156; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22010156 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 537
Abstract
Mechanical vibrations seem to affect the behaviour of different cell types and the functions of different organs. Pressure waves, including acoustic waves (sounds), could affect cytoskeletal molecules via coherent changes in their spatial organization and mechano-transduction signalling. We analyzed the sounds spectra and [...] Read more.
Mechanical vibrations seem to affect the behaviour of different cell types and the functions of different organs. Pressure waves, including acoustic waves (sounds), could affect cytoskeletal molecules via coherent changes in their spatial organization and mechano-transduction signalling. We analyzed the sounds spectra and their fractal features. Cardiac muscle HL1 cells were exposed to different sounds, were stained for cytoskeletal markers (phalloidin, beta-actin, alpha-tubulin, alpha-actinin-1), and studied with multifractal analysis (using FracLac for ImageJ). A single cell was live-imaged and its dynamic contractility changes in response to each different sound were analysed (using Musclemotion for ImageJ). Different sound stimuli seem to influence the contractility and the spatial organization of HL1 cells, resulting in a different localization and fluorescence emission of cytoskeletal proteins. Since the cellular behaviour seems to correlate with the fractal structure of the sound used, we speculate that it can influence the cells by virtue of the different sound waves’ geometric properties that we have photographed and filmed. A theoretical physical model is proposed to explain our results, based on the coherent molecular dynamics. We stress the role of the systemic view in the understanding of the biological activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Insights in Psychiatry)
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Open AccessArticle
Oxidative Stress Impact on the Transcriptome of Differentiating Neuroblastoma Cells: Implication for Psychiatric Disorders
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(23), 9182; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21239182 - 02 Dec 2020
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Prenatal environmental exposures that have been shown to induce oxidative stress (OS) during pregnancy, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, are risk factors for the onset of schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). While the OS role in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases [...] Read more.
Prenatal environmental exposures that have been shown to induce oxidative stress (OS) during pregnancy, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, are risk factors for the onset of schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). While the OS role in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases is well known, its contribution to the genomic dysregulation associated with psychiatric disorders is less well defined. In this study we used the SH-SY5Y cell line and applied RNA-sequencing to explore transcriptomic changes in response to OS before or during neural differentiation. We observed differential expression of many genes, most of which localised to the synapse and were involved in neuronal differentiation. These genes were enriched in schizophrenia-associated signalling pathways, including PI3K/Akt, axon guidance, and signalling by retinoic acid. Interestingly, circulatory system development was affected by both treatments, which is concordant with observations of increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease in patients with NDDs. We also observed a very significant increase in the expression of immunity-related genes, supporting current hypotheses of immune system involvement in psychiatric disorders. While further investigation of this influence in other cell and animal models is warranted, our data suggest that early life exposure to OS has a disruptive influence on neuronal gene expression that may perturb normal differentiation and neurodevelopment, thereby contributing towards overall risk for developing psychiatric diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Insights in Psychiatry)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Oxytocin in Schizophrenia: Pathophysiology and Implications for Future Treatment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 2146; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22042146 - 21 Feb 2021
Viewed by 549
Abstract
Schizophrenia is a form of mental disorder that is behaviorally characterized by abnormal behavior, such as social function deficits or other behaviors that are disconnected from reality. Dysregulation of oxytocin may play a role in regulating the expression of schizophrenia. Given oxytocin’s role [...] Read more.
Schizophrenia is a form of mental disorder that is behaviorally characterized by abnormal behavior, such as social function deficits or other behaviors that are disconnected from reality. Dysregulation of oxytocin may play a role in regulating the expression of schizophrenia. Given oxytocin’s role in social cognition and behavior, a variety of studies have examined the potential clinical benefits of oxytocin in improving the psychopathology of patients with schizophrenia. In this review, we highlight the evidence for the role of endogenous oxytocin in schizophrenia, from animal models to human studies. We further discuss the potential of oxytocin as a therapeutic agent for schizophrenia and its implication in future treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Insights in Psychiatry)
Open AccessReview
Beyond the Mind—Serum Trace Element Levels in Schizophrenic Patients: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(24), 9566; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21249566 - 15 Dec 2020
Viewed by 801
Abstract
The alterations in serum trace element levels are common phenomena observed in patients with different psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, or major depressive disorder. The fluctuations in the trace element concentrations might act as potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of [...] Read more.
The alterations in serum trace element levels are common phenomena observed in patients with different psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, or major depressive disorder. The fluctuations in the trace element concentrations might act as potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of many psychiatric and neurological disorders. This paper aimed to assess the alterations in serum trace element concentrations in patients with a diagnosed schizophrenia. The authors made a systematic review, extracting papers from the PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Among 5009 articles identified through database searching, 59 of them were assessed for eligibility. Ultimately, 33 articles were included in the qualitative synthesis. This review includes the analysis of serum levels of the following trace elements: iron, nickel, molybdenum, phosphorus, lead, chromium, antimony, uranium, magnesium, aluminum, zinc, copper, selenium, calcium, and manganese. Currently, there is no consistency regarding serum trace element levels in schizophrenic patients. Thus, it cannot be considered as a reliable prognostic or diagnostic marker of schizophrenia. However, it can be assumed that altered concentrations of those elements are crucial regarding the onset and exaggeration of either psychotic or negative symptoms or cognitive dysfunctions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Insights in Psychiatry)
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