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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)
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)
RATIONALE 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(More)
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)
The acute phase protein Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) plays a non-redundant role as a soluble pattern recognition receptor for selected pathogens and it represents a rapid biomarker for primary local activation of innate immunity and inflammation. Recent evidence indicates that PTX3 exerts an important role in modulating the cardiovascular system in humans and(More)
Eight-month old WAG/Rij rats, which developed spontaneous occurring absence seizures, showed a reduced function of mGlu1 metabotropic glutamate receptors in the thalamus, as assessed by in vivo measurements of DHPG-stimulated polyphosphoinositide hydrolysis, in the presence of the mGlu5 antagonist MPEP as compared to age-matched non-epileptic control rats.(More)
We combined the use of knock-out mice and subtype-selective antagonists [2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP) and (E)-2-methyl-6-(2-phenylethenyl)-pyridine (SIB1893)] to examine whether endogenous activation of mGlu5 metabotropic glutamate receptors contributes to the pathophysiology of nigro-striatal damage in the(More)
Inhibition of the canonical Wnt pathway has been implicated in the pathophysiology of neuronal death. Here, we report that the secreted Wnt antagonist, Dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1) is rapidly induced in neurons after induction of focal brain ischemia. In rats undergoing transient focal ischemia in response to brain infusion of endothelin-1, Dkk-1 was induced in(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)
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)