Francesco Napolitano

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Until recently, free d-amino acids were thought to be involved only in bacterial physiology. Nevertheless, today there is evidence that D-serine, by acting as co-agonist at NMDARs, plays a role in controlling neuronal functions in mammals. Besides D-serine, another D-amino acid, D-aspartate (D-Asp), is found in the mammalian brain with a temporal gradient(More)
The atypical amino acid d-aspartate (d-Asp) occurs at considerable amounts in the developing brain of mammals. However, during postnatal life, d-Asp levels diminish following the expression of d-aspartate oxidase (DDO) enzyme. The strict control of DDO over its substrate d-Asp is particularly evident in the hippocampus, a brain region crucially involved in(More)
Fe65 interacts with the cytosolic domain of the Alzheimer amyloid precursor protein (APP). The functions of the Fe65 are still unknown. To address this point we generated Fe65 knockout (KO) mice. These mice do not show any obvious phenotype; however, when fibroblasts (mouse embryonic fibroblasts), isolated from Fe65 KO embryos, were exposed to low doses of(More)
Since their discovery in the mammalian CNS, D-aspartate and D-serine have aroused a strong interest with regard to their role as putative neuromodulatory molecules. Whereas the functional role of D-serine as an endogenous coagonist of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) has been elucidated, the biological significance of D-aspartate in the brain is still mostly(More)
The D2/AKT1/GSK-3β signaling pathway has been involved in the downstream intracellular effects of dopamine, in the pathophysiology of cognitive deficits and related brain activity in schizophrenia, as well as in response to treatment with antipsychotics. Polymorphisms in the D2 (DRD2 rs1076560) and AKT1 (AKT1 rs1130233) genes have been associated with their(More)
The purinergic system is highly involved in the regulation of microglial physiological processes. In addition to the accepted roles for the P2 X4,7 and P2 Y12 receptors activated by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine diphosphate, respectively, recent evidence suggests a role for the adenosine A2A receptor in microglial cytoskeletal rearrangements.(More)
In Parkinson's disease (PD) progressive alteration of striatal N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) signaling has emerged as a considerable factor for the onset of the adverse motor effects of long-term levodopa (l-DOPA) treatment. In this regard, the NMDAR channel blocker amantadine is so far the only drug available for clinical use that attenuates(More)
Notch proteins are definitely recognized as key regulators of the neuronal fate during embryo development, but their function in the adult brain is still largely unknown. We have previously demonstrated that Notch pathway stimulation increases microtubules stability followed by the remodeling of neuronal morphology with neurite varicosities loss, thicker(More)
Enhanced supraspinal glutamate levels following nerve injury are associated with pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for neuropathic pain. Chronic pain can interfere with specific brain areas involved in glutamate-dependent neuropsychological processes, such as cognition, memory, and decision-making. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is thought to(More)
L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia, the rate-limiting side effect in the therapy of Parkinson's disease, is mediated by activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling in the striatum. We found that Ras homolog enriched in striatum (Rhes), a striatal-specific protein, binds to and activates mTOR. Moreover, Rhes(-/-) mice showed reduced striatal mTOR(More)