Barbara Costa

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Much evidence of an association between specific attachment styles and depression prompted us to investigate, in depressive disorders, the potential role of polymorphisms within the gene encoding the receptor of the main neurohormone involved in attachment processes, oxytocin. For this purpose, two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 6930G>A (rs53576)(More)
Neuropathic pain remains a prevalent clinical problem because it is often poorly responsive to the currently used analgesics, thus it is crucial the identification of new potential targets and drugs. Recent evidence indicated that microglial cells in the spinal cord are critically involved in the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain, with a(More)
UNLABELLED The translocator protein (18 kDa) (TSPO), formerly known as the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor, is dramatically upregulated under pathologic conditions. Activated microglia are the main cell type expressing the TSPO at sites of central nervous system pathology. Radioligands for the TSPO can therefore measure active disease in the brain. This(More)
The in vivo effect of inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) upon oedema volume and FAAH activity was evaluated in the carrageenan induced hind paw inflammation model in the mouse. Oedema was measured at two time points, 2 and 4 h, after intraplantar injection of carrageenan to anaesthetised mice. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of the FAAH(More)
Neuropathic pain consequent to peripheral injury is associated with local inflammation and overexpression of nitric oxide synthases (NOS) and inflammatory cytokines in locally recruited macrophages, Schwann and glial cells. We investigated the time course and localization of nitric oxide synthases (NOS) and cytokines in the central (spinal cord and(More)
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are the best characterized pattern recognition receptors. Individual TLRs recruit diverse combinations of adaptor proteins, triggering signal transduction pathways and leading to the activation of various transcription factors, including nuclear factor kappaB, activation protein 1 and interferon regulatory factors. Interleukin-2(More)
1. The antiinflammatory activity of synthetic cannabinoid nabilone in the rat model of carrageenan-induced acute hindpaw inflammation was compared with that of the endocannabinoid palmitoylethanolamide and the nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug indomethacin. 2. Preliminary experiments in rats used a tetrad of behavioural tests, specific for(More)
1. The anti-inflammatory activity of the endogenous fatty acid amide palmitoylethanolamide and its relationship to cyclo-oxygenase (COX) activity, nitric oxide (NO) and oxygen free radical production were investigated in the rat model of carrageenan-induced acute paw inflammation and compared with the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)(More)
The peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR) is a component of a multiprotein complex, located at the contact site between the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes, which constitutes the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT)-pore. The opening of the MPT-pore, leading to the transmembrane mitochondrial potential (DeltaPsi(m)) dissipation, is a(More)
Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is an endogenous lipid that is thought to be involved in endogenous protective mechanisms activated as a result of stimulation of inflammatory response. In spite of the well demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties of PEA, its involvement in controlling pain pathways still remains poorly characterized. On this basis, we tested(More)