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Neuroscience research at IBCN focuses on the mechanisms regulating brain functional states under physiological and pathological conditions in cells and mouse models. Main themes include:

  • miRNA-mediated regulation on molecular and cellular pathways involved in neuronal differentiation, dysfunction, aging and neurodegenerative diseases;
  • role of neurotrophins as diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic tools in neuropathologies, in alcohol addiction and related oxidative stress, and neuroprotective properties of antioxidants as plants' polyphenols;
  • mechanisms that underlie acute and chronic pain through functional responses and changes in the expression of specific markers at peripheral and central levels, for the identification of new therapies;
  • understanding the role of purinergic signaling in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis by pioneering the use of P2 receptor antagonists for slowing the diseases;
  • genetic, structural and molecular bases of learning and memory in  conditions of normal and pathological cognition such as Alzheimer Disease, Fragile-X syndrome;
  • reactivation of adult neural stem/progenitor cells by extrinsic factor as physical activity and nutrition for   delaying neuron depletion during aging and coadiuvating regenerative therapies after brain injuries.
  • controlling the neurogenesis: i) reactivation of aging or differentiation-defective neural stem cells in adult neurogenic niches; ii) antitumor therapies by modulating the cerebellar neurogenesis;
  • brain-mediated regulation of energy homeostasis:  CNS integration of energy stores and satiety signals, feeding neurocircuits, eating behavior, food reward, dysmetabolism and obesity;
  • Dissecting gene-environment interactions affecting motor, cognitive and emotional behaviors during development and at adulthood: early manipulations,  as tools for functional recovery from neurodevelopmental, psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

  • Personnel involved

  • Selected publications

Barbato C, Pezzola S, Caggiano C, Antonelli M, Frisone P, Ciotti MT, Ruberti F.
A lentiviral sponge for miR-101 regulates RanBP9 expression and amyloid precursor protein metabolism in hippocampal neurons.
Front Cell Neurosci. 2014; 8: 37 eCollection 2014.
doi: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00037.

Tirassa P, Maccarone M, Carito V, De Nicolò S, Fiore M.
Ocular nerve growth factor administration counteracts the impairment of neural precursor cell viability and differentiation in the brain subventricular area of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes.
Eur J Neurosci. 2015;41(9):1207-18.
doi: 10.1111/ejn.12854.

Vacca  V, Marinelli S, Pieroni L, Urbani U, Luvisetto S,  Pavone F.
Higher pain perception and lack of recovery from neuropathic pain in females: a behavioural, immunohistochemical, and proteomic investigation on sex-related differences in mice.
Pain. 2014;155(2):388-402.
doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.10.027.

Volonté C, Apolloni S, Parisi C, Amadio S.
Purinergic contribution to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Neuropharmacology. 2015 Oct 26.  In press.
doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.10.026.

Pignataro A, Ammassari-Teule M.
Post-extinction selective persistence of large dendritic spines in fear remodeled circuits may serve to reactivate fear.
Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015;35:1-5.
doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2015.04.005.

Farioli-Vecchioli S, Saraulli D, Costanzi M, Pacioni S, Cinà I, Aceti M, Micheli L, Bacci A, Cestari V, Tirone F.
The timing of differentiation of adult hippocampal neurons is crucial for spatial memory.
PLoS Biol. 2008;6(10):e246. 
doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060246.

Farioli-Vecchioli S, Mattera A, Micheli L, Ceccarelli M, Leonardi L, Saraulli D, Costanzi M, Cestari V, Rouault JP, Tirone F.
Running rescues defective adult neurogenesis by shortening the length of the cell cycle of neural stem and progenitor cells.
Stem Cells. 2014; 32(7): 1968-1982. 
doi: 10.1002/stem.1679.

*Provensi G, *Coccurello R, Umehara H, Munari L, Giacovazzo G, Galeotti N, Nosi D, Gaetani S, Romano A, Moles A, Blandina P, Passani MB.
Satiety factor oleoylethanolamide recruits the brain histaminergic system to inhibit food intake.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(31):11527-32. 
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1322016111.

Moles A, Kieffer BL, D'Amato FR.
Deficit in attachment behavior in mice lacking the mu-opioid receptor gene.
Science. 2004;304(5679):1983-6.
doi: 10.1126/science.1095943

Mandillo S, Golini E, Marazziti D, Di Pietro C, Matteoni R, Tocchini-Valentini GP.

Mice lacking the Parkinson's related GPR37/PAEL receptor show non-motor behavioral phenotypes: age and gender effect.
Genes Brain Behav. 2013;12(4):465-77.
doi: 10.1111/gbb.12041