Caterina Cascio

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The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a monogamous rodent that forms long-lasting pair bonds, has proven useful for the neurobiological study of social attachment. In the laboratory, pair bonds can be assessed by testing for a partner preference, a choice test in which pair-bonded voles regularly prefer their partner to a conspecific stranger. Studies(More)
This study examined the role of dopamine (DA) in partner preference (PP) formation in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). The nonspecific DA antagonist haloperidol blocked mating-induced PP, whereas the nonspecific DA agonist apomorphine induced PP without mating. The D2 antagonist eticlopride, but not the D1 antagonist SCH23390, blocked PP,(More)
Steroidogenesis begins with the metabolism of cholesterol to pregnenolone by the inner mitochondrial membrane cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage (P450scc) enzyme. The rate of steroid formation, however, depends on the rate of cholesterol transport from intracellular stores to the inner mitochondrial membrane and loading of P450scc with cholesterol. In(More)
Neurosteroids in rodents can originate from peripheral tissues or be locally synthesized in specific brain areas. There is, as yet, no information about the synthesis and regulation of neurosteroids in human brain. We examined the ability of human brain cells to synthesize steroids from a radiolabeled precursor and the mRNA and protein expression of key(More)
In peripheral steroidogenic tissues, dehydroepiandrosterone (D) is formed from pregnenolone (P) by the microsomal cytochrome P450c17 enzyme. Although some steroidogenic P450s have been found in brain tissue, no enzyme has been shown to possess P450c17 activity. We recently demonstrated the presence of an alternative, Fe(2+)-dependent pathway responsible for(More)
An alternative pathway for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) synthesis has been suggested by treating rat and human brain cells with ferrous sulfate and beta-amyloid (Abeta). To determine if this pathway exists in human brain, levels of DHEA in hippocampus, hypothalamus and frontal cortex from Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and age-matched controls were(More)
BACKGROUND Isolated left ventricular non-compaction is the result of incomplete myocardial morphogenesis, leading to persistence of the embryonic myocardium. The condition is recognized by an excessively prominent trabecular meshwork and deep intertrabecular recesses of the left ventricle. Whether these intertrabecular recesses are a favorable substrate for(More)
Neurosteroids (steroids synthesized in the CNS) function by modulating neurotransmission. To establish an experimental model for investigation of neurosteroid synthesis and regulation, independent of blood-borne steroids, we examined the steroidogenic activity of isolated rat retinas. We identified progesterone, pregnenolone, dehydroepiandrosterone,(More)
The present study was designed to investigate the neurosteroid pregnenolone sulfate (PS), known for its ability to modulate NMDA receptors and interfere with acute excitotoxicity, in delayed retinal cell death. Three hours after exposure of the isolated and intact retina to a 30-min PS pulse, DNA fragmentation as assessed by genomic DNA gel electrophoresis(More)
Here we investigated the possible regulation of neurosteroidogenesis by N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor activation and addressed the hypothesis that neurosteroid synthesis may be involved in acute excitotoxicity. In the isolated retina, exposure to NMDA modified pregnenolone and pregnenolone sulphate formation. This effect was dose and time(More)