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De Berardis D.,Hospital G Mazzini | Conti C.,University of Chieti Pescara | Iasevoli F.,Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Psychopharmacotherapeutics | Valchera A.,Hermanas Hospitalarias | And 10 more authors.
Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents | Year: 2014

The alexithymia construct is multidimensional and comprises several features: (a) difficulty in identifying and describing feelings, (b) difficulty in distinguishing feelings from the bodily sensations, (c) diminution of fantasy, and (d) concrete and poorly introspective thinking. Altered immune responses have been seen in some psychiatric disorders and several data suggest that analogous changes could also be observable in alexithymia. Hence, the aim of this review is to investigate the relationships between alexithymia and acute phase proteins and cytokines in psychiatric, psychosomatic and medical diseases. Several studies have reported an association between alexithymia and higher circulating levels of acute phase proteins, especially C-Reactive Protein. Moreover, in alexithymic subjects the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine balance may be tuned toward a pro-inflammatory imbalance with a concomitant altered cell-mediated immunity. These findings may be consistent with the "“stress-alexithymia hypothesis"”. Therefore, the screening of alexithymic traits and the administration of appropriate psychological and psychotherapeutical interventions should be integral parts of disease management programs. Supplying such interventions will probably help with prevention of the development of the disease and/or its exacerbation by improving the quality of life of alexithymic individuals.

Iasevoli F.,Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Psychopharmacotherapeutics | Avvisati L.,Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Psychopharmacotherapeutics | Latte G.,Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Psychopharmacotherapeutics | Buonaguro E.F.,Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Psychopharmacotherapeutics | And 3 more authors.
Current Signal Transduction Therapy | Year: 2013

The NMDA receptor non-competitive antagonist ketamine is regarded to model multiple symptomatic domains and molecular dysfunctions of schizophrenia, depending on acute or chronic exposure to the drug. In this work, we aimed to investigate whether ketamine may induce changes in the expression of transcripts relevant for the dopaminergic system (i.e. dopamine D1, D1R, and D2 receptors, D2R, dopamine transporter, DAT) and whether these changes were differentially modulated by acute vs. subchronic exposure. Acute ketamine decreased D1R expression in the ventrolateral caudate-putamen. Subchronic ketamine did not affect D1R and D2R expression. Increased D2R and DAT expression by subchronic ketamine was found in the midbrain. Distribution of mRNA expression showed sharp differences after acute vs. subchronic treatments for all transcripts. Subchronic ketamine induced an upergulation of D2R and DAT mRNA transcripts in the midbrain, since expression was significantly increased compared to both subchronic and acute vehicle-mediated expression. The observed molecular changes by acute vs. subchronic ketamine may model different steps in psychosis pathophysiology involving dopaminergic system. ©2013 Bentham Science Publishers.

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