Francesca Biagioni

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The use of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) is limited by the incomplete knowledge of the extracellular signals regulating their proliferation and survival. We report that cultured mouse NPCs express functional mGlu3 and mGlu5 metabotropic glutamate receptors. Pharmacological blockade of both receptors reduced NPC proliferation and survival, whereas(More)
We examined whether selective activation of mGlu4 metabotropic glutamate receptors attenuates 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced nigrostriatal damage in mice. C57BL mice were treated with a single dose of MPTP (30 mg/kg, i.p.) preceded, 30 min earlier, by a systemic injection of the mGlu4 receptor enhancer(More)
The canonical Wnt pathway contributes to the regulation of neuronal survival and homeostasis in the CNS. Recent evidence suggests that an increased expression of Dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1), a secreted protein that negatively modulates the canonical Wnt pathway, is causally related to processes of neurodegeneration in a number of CNS disorders, including Alzheimer’s(More)
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is an amphetamine derivative, which is neurotoxic to both serotonin (5HT) and dopamine (DA) nerve terminals. Previous reports, carried out in rodents and non-human primates, demonstrated neurotoxicity to monoamine axon terminals, although no study has analyzed nigral and striatal cell bodies at the sub-cellular(More)
In recent years several clinical and research findings have demonstrated the involvement of the presynaptic protein alpha-synuclein in a variety of neurodegenerative disorders which are known as synucleinopathies. Although the function of this protein in the physiology of the cell remains unknown, it is evident that both genetic alterations or a mere(More)
Parkinsonian patients are treated with dopamine replacement therapy (typically, intermittent administration of the dopamine precursor L-DOPA); however, this is associated with the onset of abnormal involuntary movements, which seriously impair the quality of life. The molecular mechanisms underlying abnormal involuntary movements represent an intense field(More)
Autophagy is the mechanism through which cells degrade oxidized membranes-organelles and mis/unfolded proteins, in this latter function cooperating with the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UP system). Although autophagy has been known for a long time, its involvement in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases has been investigated only recently. The(More)
Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) represents the most ubiquitous isoform belonging to the TG family, and has been implicated in the pathophysiology of basal ganglia disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. We show that ablation of TG2 in knockout mice causes a reduced activity of mitochondrial complex I associated with an increased activity(More)
The 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) model of Parkinson's disease in the rat represents a fundamental tool for investigating the pathophysiology of dopamine denervation. Nevertheless, 6-OHDA can induce also noradrenergic lesions; therefore desmethylimipramine (DMI) is co-administrated as a selective inhibitor of noradrenergic reuptake to protect noradrenaline(More)
Neural stem cells (NSCs) isolated from the subventricular zone (SVZ) of postnatal mice, and cultured as neurospheres, expressed functional mGlu3 receptors. Following mitogen withdrawal and plating onto poly-ornitine-coated dishes, cells dissociated from the neurospheres differentiated into GFAP(+) astrocytes (about 85%), and a small percentage of beta-III(More)