Daniela Tropea

Daniela Tropea
Trinity College Dublin | TCD · Department of Psychiatry

PhD in Neuroscience, SISSA (Trieste, Italy)

About

79
Publications
9,699
Reads
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3,084
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2009 - present
Trinity College Dublin
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
June 2003 - August 2009
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2001 - April 2003
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (79)
Article
Full-text available
Multiplex families have higher recurrence risk of schizophrenia compared to the families of sporadic cases, but the source of this increased recurrence risk is unknown. We used schizophrenia genome-wide association study data (N = 156,509) to construct polygenic risk scores (PRS) in 1005 individuals from 257 multiplex schizophrenia families, 2114 a...
Article
Full-text available
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder without effective treatments. Attempts at developing targetted therapies have been relatively unsuccessful, at least in part, because the genotypical and phenotypical variability of the disorder. Therefore, identification of biomarkers of response and patients’ stratification are high...
Article
Full-text available
Rett syndrome (RTT) and Fragile X syndrome (FXS) are two monogenetic neurodevelopmental disorders with complex clinical presentations. RTT is caused by mutations in the Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 gene ( MECP2 ) altering the function of its protein product MeCP2. MeCP2 modulates gene expression by binding methylated CpG dinucleotides, and by inter...
Article
Full-text available
MECP2 and its product, Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2), are mostly known for their association to Rett Syndrome (RTT), a rare neurodevelopmental disorder. Additional evidence suggests that MECP2 may underlie other neuropsychiatric and neurological conditions, and perhaps modulate common presentations and pathophysiology across disorders. To cl...
Article
Full-text available
Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with mutations in the gene MeCP2, which is involved in the development and function of cortical networks. The clinical presentation of RTT is generally severe and includes developmental regression and marked neurologic impairment. Insulin-Like growth factor 1 (IGF1) ameliorates RTT-rel...
Article
The development of new therapeutics is critically dependent on an understanding of the molecular pathways whose disruption results in neurological symptoms. Genetic and biomarker studies have highlighted immune signalling as a pathway that is impaired in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), and several studies in animal models of aber...
Article
Non-invasive electrophysiological recordings are useful for the evaluation of nervous system function. These techniques are inexpensive, fast, replicable, and less resource-intensive than imaging. Further, the functional data produced have excellent temporal resolution, which is not achievable with structural imaging. Current applications of electr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) is a chromatin-binding protein and a modulator of gene expression. Initially identified as an oncogene, MECP2 is now mostly associated to Rett Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental condition, though there is evidence of its influence in other brain disorders. We design a procedure that considers several binding propert...
Article
Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a neurological disorder mainly associated with mutations in the X-linked gene coding for the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2). To assist in studying MECP2's function, researchers have generated Mecp2 mouse mutants showing that MECP2's product (MeCP2) mostly functions as a transcriptional regulator. During the last two dec...
Article
Full-text available
Rett syndrome is a rare neuropsychiatric disorder with a wide symptomatology including impaired communication and movement, cardio-respiratory abnormalities, and seizures. The clinical presentation is typically associated to mutations in the gene coding for the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2), which is a transcription factor. The gene is ubiqu...
Article
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The mechanisms of neuro-genetic disorders have been mostly investigated in the brain, however, for some pathologies, transcriptomic analysis in multiple tissues represent an opportunity and a challenge to understand the consequences of the genetic mutation. This is the case for Rett Syndrome (RTT): a neurodevelopmental disorder predominantly affect...
Article
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Background Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder, frequently associated with epilepsy. Despite increasing recognition of the clinical heterogeneity of RTT and its variants (e.g Classical, Hanefeld and PSV(Preserved Speech Variant)), the link between causative mutations and observed clinical phenotypes remains unclear. Quantit...
Article
Full-text available
Disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) is an important hub protein, forming multimeric complexes by self‐association and interacting with a large number of synaptic and cytoskeletal molecules. The synaptic location of DISC1 in the adult brain suggests a role in synaptic plasticity, and indeed, a number of studies have discovered synaptic plasticity i...
Article
The physical properties of substrates can have profound effects on the structure and function of cultured cells. In this study we aimed to examine the viability, adherence and morphological and functional variations between SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells cultured on SU-8 surfaces compared to control surfaces composed of borosilicate glass, which...
Article
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Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) is a polypeptide hormone structurally similar to insulin. It is central to the somatotropic axis, acting downstream of growth hormone (GH). It activates both the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase and PI3K signaling pathways, acting in almost every tissue in the body to promote tissue growth and maturation th...
Article
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Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) is a neurotrophic polypeptide with crucial roles to play in Central Nervous System (CNS) growth, development and maturation. Following interrogation of the neurobiology underlying several neurodevelopmental disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), both recombinant IGF-1 (mecasermin) and related derivatives...
Article
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Background: Rett Syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder almost exclusively affecting females, characterized by a broad clinical spectrum of signs and symptoms and a peculiar course. The disease affects different body systems: nervous, muscolo-skeletal, gastro-enteric. Moreover, part of the symptoms are related to the involvement of the autonomi...
Article
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Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) is a phylogenetically ancient neurotrophic hormone with crucial roles to play in CNS development and maturation. Recently, IGF-1 has been shown to have potent effects on cellular neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticty refers to the adaptive changes made by the CNS in the face of changing functional demands and is cruci...
Article
Full-text available
Major neuropsychiatric disorders are genetically complex but share overlapping etiology. Mice mutant for rare, highly penetrant risk variants can be useful in dissecting the molecular mechanisms involved. The gene disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) has been associated with increased risk for neuropsychiatric conditions. Mice mutant for Disc1 disp...
Article
Full-text available
Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by an apparently normal development followed by an arrest and subsequent regression of cognitive and psychomotor abilities. At present, RTT has no definitive cure and the treatment of RTT represents a largely unmet clinical need. Following partial elucidation of the underlyin...
Data
Full-text available
Supplementary Information: we report the detailed criteria for the marking of the Rett Severity Score (RSS): a new evaluation score designed to capture and measure the social and cognitive abilities of Rett Patients.
Chapter
This chapter describes the current therapeutic interventions in clinical or preclinical trials. Starting with genetic discoveries, it also summarizes the molecules and signaling pathways that contribute to the pathophysiology of several neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), stressing their points of convergence and/or divergence in the molecular tar...
Chapter
Rett syndrome is a X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1 in 10,000 females. It presents clinically with developmental regression at 6-18 months of age, with loss of acquired language and motor skills, leading to a complex lifelong syndrome characterised by intellectual disability; behavioural and neuropsychiatric disturbances; social...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of central nervous system (CNS) disorders on the human population is significant, contributing almost €800 billion in annual European healthcare costs. These disorders not only have a disabling social impact but also a crippling economic drain on resources. Developing novel therapeutic strategies for these disorders requires a better und...
Article
Accumulating evidence points to a role for Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) immune signaling in neuronal function; however, its role in experience-dependent plasticity is unknown. Here we show that one of its components, STAT1, negatively regulates the homeostatic component of ocular dominance plasticity in vis...
Article
Full-text available
Rett Syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that arises from mutations in the X-linked gene methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2). MeCP2 has a large number of targets and a wide range of functions, suggesting the hypothesis that functional signaling mechanisms upstream of synaptic and circuit maturation may contribute to our understanding of the...
Article
Full-text available
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder that has no cure. Patients show regression of acquired skills, motor, and speech impairment, cardio-respiratory distress, microcephaly, and stereotyped hand movements. The majority of RTT patients display mutations in the gene that codes for the Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2), w...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying rare, highly penetrant risk mutations may be an important step in dissecting the molecular etiology of schizophrenia. We conducted a gene-based analysis of large (>100kb), rare copy number variants (CNVs) in the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2) schizophrenia sample of 1,564 cases and 1,748 controls all from Ireland, and...
Article
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The common variant rs1344706 within the zinc-finger protein gene ZNF804A has been strongly implicated in schizophrenia (SZ) susceptibility by a series of recent genetic association studies. Although associated with a pattern of altered neural connectivity, evidence that increased risk is mediated by an effect on cognitive deficits associated with t...
Article
A single nucleotide polymorphism (rs7914558) within the cyclin M2 (CNNM2) gene was recently identified as a common risk variant for schizophrenia. The mechanism by which CNNM2 confers risk is unknown. To determine the impact of the rs7914558 risk 'A' allele on measures of neurocognition, social cognition and brain structure. Patients with schizophr...
Article
Schizophrenia (SZ) and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are complex neurodevelopmental disorders that may share an underlying pathology suggested by shared genetic risk variants. We sequenced the exonic regions of 215 genes in 147 ASD cases, 273 SZ cases and 287 controls, to identify rare risk mutations. Genes were primarily selected for their func...
Article
The single nucleotide polymorphism rs10503253, located within the CUB and Sushi multiple domains-1 (CSMD1) gene on 8p23.2, was recently identified as genome wide significant for schizophrenia, but is of unknown function. We investigated the neurocognitive effects of this CSMD1 variant in vivo in patients and healthy participants using behavioral an...
Article
Suicide is the leading cause of death in schizophrenia. An association between suicidal behavior and both higher and lower cognitive ability in schizophrenia has been reported. To clarify this relationship, we investigated whether the relationship between suicidality and neurocognition varied according to differences in suicidal ideation and behavi...
Article
Full-text available
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder that affects one in ten thousand girls and has no cure. The majority of RTT patients display mutations in the gene that codes for the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Clinical observations and neurobiological analysis of mouse models suggest that defects in the expression of MeCP...
Article
Full-text available
A single nucleotide polymorphism rs12807809 located upstream of the neurogranin (NRGN) gene has been identified as a risk variant for schizophrenia in recent genome-wide association studies. To date, there has been little investigation of the endophenotypic consequences of this variant, and our own investigations have suggested that the effects of...
Article
Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) and its active peptide (1-3)IGF1 modulate brain growth and plasticity and are candidate molecules for treatment of brain disorders. IGF1 N-terminal portion is naturally cleaved to generate the tri-peptide (1-3)IGF1 (glycine-praline-glutamate). IGF1 and (1-3)IGF have been proposed as treatment for neuropathologies...
Article
The nitric oxide synthasase-1 gene (NOS1) has been implicated in mental disorders including schizophrenia and variation in cognition. The NOS1 variant rs6490121 identified in a genome wide association study of schizophrenia has recently been associated with variation in general intelligence and working memory in both patients and healthy participan...
Article
Full-text available
Using quantitative analyses, we identified microRNAs (miRNAs) that were abundantly expressed in visual cortex and that responded to dark rearing and/or monocular deprivation. The most substantially altered miRNA, miR-132, was rapidly upregulated after eye opening and was delayed by dark rearing. In vivo inhibition of miR-132 in mice prevented ocula...
Article
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Molecular Psychiatry publishes work aimed at elucidating biological mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders and their treatment
Article
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To determine the relationship between synaptic structural changes and cortical function, we recently published a study where we imaged dendritic spines using two-photon in vivo microscopy while monitoring network activity in the visual cortex using intrinsic signal imaging. By manipulating cortical activity levels by dark-rearing mice and re-exposi...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of activity on neuronal circuitry is complex, involving both functional and structural changes whose interaction is largely unknown. We have used optical imaging of mouse visual cortex responses and two-photon imaging of superficial layer spines on layer 5 neurons to monitor network function and synaptic structural dynamics in the mouse...
Article
Full-text available
A myriad of mechanisms have been suggested to account for the full richness of visual cortical plasticity. We found that visual cortex lacking Arc is impervious to the effects of deprivation or experience. Using intrinsic signal imaging and chronic visually evoked potential recordings, we found that Arc(-/-) mice did not exhibit depression of depri...
Article
Full-text available
Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a severe form of X-linked mental retardation caused by mutations in the gene coding for methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). Mice deficient in MeCP2 have a range of physiological and neurological abnormalities that mimic the human syndrome. Here we show that systemic treatment of MeCP2 mutant mice with an active peptide frag...
Article
Exposure to an enriched environment has proven to be beneficial in the recovery of function after brain lesions, but the underlying mechanisms remain only partly understood. One possibility is that environmental enrichment stimulates the reorganization of areas and fiber tracts that have been spared by the injury. Here we evaluate the effects of en...