Cristina Cocco

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The neuropeptide oxytocin (20-100 ng), induces penile erection when injected unilaterally into the caudal but not rostral mesencephalic ventral tegmental area (VTA) of male Sprague-Dawley rats. Such pro-erectile effect started 30 min after treatment and was abolished by the prior injection of d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)(2)-Orn(8)-vasotocin (1 microg), an oxytocin(More)
The vgf gene (non-acronymic) is induced in vivo by neurotrophins including Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), Brain Derived Growth Factor (BDNF) and Glial Derived Growth Factor (GDNF), by synaptic activity and by homeostatic and other stimuli. Post-translational processing of a single VGF precursor gives raise to a varied multiplicity of neuro-endocrine peptides,(More)
Although vgf gene knockout mice are hypermetabolic, administration of the VGF peptide TLQP-21 itself increased energy consumption. Agonist-antagonist roles are thus suggested for different VGF peptides, and the definition of their tissue heterogeneity is mandatory. We studied the rat stomach using antisera to C- or N-terminal sequences of known or predicted(More)
Oxytocin is involved in the control of different behaviors, from sexual behavior and food consumption to empathy, social and affective behaviors. An imbalance of central oxytocinergic neurotransmission has been also associated with different mental pathologies, from depression, anxiety and anorexia/bulimia to schizophrenia, autism and drug dependence. This(More)
The vgf gene has been shown to be involved in several metabolic pathways. Because the pancreas is crucial to metabolism and food intake, we studied the VGF peptides in bovine, rat, and pig Langherans islets using antisera raised against specific sites along the primary sequence of the rat/mouse and human VGF protein precursor. Whereas almost all of the(More)
Oxytocin (100 ng) induces penile erection when injected unilaterally into the ventral subiculum of the hippocampus of male rats. The pro-erectile effect started mostly 30 min after treatment and occurred 15 min after an increase in both nitric oxide (NO) production, measured by the concentration of NO(2)(-) and NO(3)(-), the main metabolites of newly formed(More)
VGF mRNA and its precursor-derived products are selectively expressed in certain neurons and promptly respond to neurotrophins and to neural/electrical activity. Proteomic studies have previously revealed a reduction in some VGF peptides in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients affected by Alzheimer's disease and other conditions, suggesting their potential(More)
Ghrelin is a peripheral circulating hormone, mainly released from the stomach, which can stimulate food intake. We studied fed, fasted and fasted-refed prepuberal gilts in order to outline possible changes in gastric mucosal ghrelin cells and in plasma ghrelin profiles in response to food deprivation. Acyl-ghrelin-immunoreactive cells were numerous in(More)
VGF or VGF nerve growth factor inducible is a protein that has been found to play a role in regulating energy homeostasis and metabolism. From VGF precursor derive two neuroendocrine regulatory peptides NERP-1 and NERP-2 that, intracerebroventricular (icv) injected, modulate the antidiuretic hormone (ADH) release. Thus, we investigated possible modulations(More)
Although the VGF derived peptide TLQP-21 stimulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and gonadotropin secretion, available data on VGF peptides and reproduction are limited. We used antibodies specific for the two ends of the VGF precursor, and for two VGF derived peptides namely TLQP and PGH, to be used in immunohistochemistry and enzyme-linked(More)