Carlo Natale Giuseppe Giachello

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MAPK/Erk is a protein kinase activated by neurotrophic factors involved in synapse formation and plasticity, which acts at both the nuclear and cytoplasmic level. Synapsin proteins are synaptic-vesicle-associated proteins that are well known to be MAPK/Erk substrates at phylogenetically conserved sites. However, the physiological role of MAPK/Erk-dependent(More)
A large number of invertebrate models, including the snail Helix, emerged as particularly suitable tools for investigating the formation of synapses and the specificity of neuronal connectivity. Helix neurons can be individually identified and isolated in cell culture, showing well-conserved size, position, biophysical properties, synaptic connections, and(More)
In mammalian brain, the cellular and molecular events occurring in both synapse formation and plasticity are difficult to study due to the large number of factors involved in these processes and because the contribution of each component is not well defined. Invertebrates, such as Drosophila, Aplysia, Helix, Lymnaea, and Helisoma, have proven to be useful(More)
Neuronal cell cultures on Micro-Electrode Arrays (MEAs) provide an essential experimental tool for studying the connectivity and long-term activity of complex neuronal networks. MEA studies are generally based on the analysis of mixed neuronal populations constituted by a large number of cultured cells with cell type composition and connectivity patterns(More)
The mechanisms that facilitate animal magnetoreception have both fascinated and confounded scientists for decades, and its precise biophysical origin remains unclear. Among the proposed primary magnetic sensors is the flavoprotein, cryptochrome, which is thought to provide geomagnetic information via a quantum effect in a light-initiated radical pair(More)
Epileptic activity is generally induced in experimental models by local application of epileptogenic drugs, including pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), widely used on both vertebrate and invertebrate neurons. Despite the high prevalence of this neurological disorder and the extensive research on it, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis(More)
By using antibodies against mouse F3/contactin, we found immunologically related glycoproteins expressed in the nervous tissue of the snail Helix pomatia. Helix contactin-related proteins (HCRPs) include different molecules ranging in size from 90 to 240 kD. Clones isolated from a cDNA expression library allowed us to demonstrate that these proteins are(More)
Epilepsy is a significant disorder for which approximately one-third of patients do not respond to drug treatments. Next-generation drugs, which interact with novel targets, are required to provide a better clinical outcome for these individuals. To identify potential novel targets for antiepileptic drug (AED) design, we used RNA sequencing to identify(More)
Stability of neural circuits is reliant on homeostatic mechanisms that return neuron activity towards pre-determined and physiologically appropriate levels. Without these mechanisms, changes due to synaptic plasticity, ageing and disease may push neural circuits towards instability. Whilst widely documented, understanding of how and when neurons determine(More)
Many animals are able to sense the Earth's geomagnetic field to enable behaviors such as migration. It is proposed that the magnitude and direction of the geomagnetic field modulates the activity of cryptochrome (CRY) by influencing photochemical radical pair intermediates within the protein. However, this proposal will remain theoretical until a(More)