Diego Fornasari

Learn More
Nicotine is a very widely used drug of abuse, which exerts a number of neurovegetative, behavioural and psychological effects by interacting with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (NAChRs). These receptors are distributed widely in human brain and ganglia, and form a family of ACh-gated ion channels of different subtypes, each of which has a(More)
PHOX2A is a paired-like homeodomain transcription factor that participates in specifying the autonomic nervous system. It is also involved in the transcriptional control of the noradrenergic neurotransmitter phenotype as it regulates the gene expression of tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase. The results of this study show that the human(More)
The distribution of nicotinic receptors in the brain and ganglia of the Cynomolgus monkey was studied by in situ hybridization and receptor autoradiography. A 35S-labeled antisense riboprobe for the mRNA of the alpha 3 subunit of the human nicotinic receptor, [3H]L-nicotine and [125]alpha-bungarotoxin were used as markers. The highest levels of alpha 3-mRNA(More)
The mRNA encoding the human alpha5 nicotinic subunit was detected in several structures of the nervous system but appeared to be mainly expressed in cerebellum, thalamus, and the autonomic ganglia. For the first time, the alpha5 transcript was also detected in several non-neuronal tissues, with maximal expressions being found throughout the gastrointestinal(More)
Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that is associated with many common diseases; this places a major burden on the healthcare system. There are currently numerous analgesic agents available for the treatment of chronic pain. In general, the oral non-opioid analgesic, paracetamol, is recommended for the initial treatment of mild to moderate pain.(More)
Phox2a is a vertebrate homeodomain transcription factor that is involved in the specification of the autonomic nervous system. We have isolated the 5' regulatory region of the human Phox2a gene and studied the transcriptional mechanisms underlying its expression. We first identified the minimal gene promoter by means of molecular and functional criteria and(More)
The human alpha5 nicotinic receptor subunit gene appears to be expressed in several structures of the nervous system, but also in a number of non-neuronal tissues, with maximal expressions occurring in the entire gastrointestinal tract, thymus and testis. To understand whether specific transcriptional mechanisms are involved in the tissue-specific(More)
The TLX2 (HOX11L1, Ncx, Enx) and PHOX2B genes encode transcription factors crucial in the development of neural-crest-derived cells, leading to ANS (autonomic nervous system) specific neuronal lineages. Moreover, they share a similar expression pattern and are both involved in downstream steps of BMP (bone morphogenetic protein) signalling. In an attempt to(More)
Expansions of a polyalanine (polyA) stretch in the coding region of the PHOX2B gene cause congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), a neurocristopathy characterized by the absence of adequate control of autonomic breathing. Expansion of polyA in PHOX2B leads to protein misfolding and accumulation into inclusions. The mechanisms that regulate(More)