How do genes exert their role? Period 3 gene variants and possible influences on mood disorder phenotypes

Paola Artioli, Cristina Lorenzi, Adele Pirovano, Alessandro Serretti, Francesco Benedetti, Marco Catalano, Enrico Smeraldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The action of multiple liability genes is responsible for complex phenotypes at the same time, a single gene, could control several phenotypic features. This is the case of human period 3 gene (hper3), mainly involved in the setting of the biologic clock. Some variants of this gene, besides being associated with the Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, showed a key role in determining evening preference rather than morning one. According to this rationale, we hypothesized that this gene could influence circadian mood fluctuations, in mood disorders. Our study demonstrated that rare genetic variants of hper3 are significantly associated to a number of mood disorders features, such as age of onset, response to SSRIs treatment, circadian mood oscillations and characteristics of temperament. These preliminary results could shed further light on the involvement of circadian genes in various aspects of physiological and psychopathological mechanisms of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-594
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007


  • Antidepressants
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Depressive symptomatology
  • Mood disorders
  • Period 3 gene
  • Temperament and Character Inventory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychology(all)


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