Ivana D'Andrea

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BACKGROUND Early experiences produce persistent changes in brain and behavioral function. We investigate whether being reared in a communal nest (CN), a form of early social enrichment that characterizes the natural ecological niche of many rodent species including the mouse, has effects on adult social/aggressive behavior and nerve growth factor (NGF) and(More)
Early experiences affect brain function and behavior at adulthood. Being reared in a communal nest (CN), consisting of a single nest where three mothers keep their pups together and share care-giving behavior from birth to weaning (postnatal day [PND] 25), provides an highly socially stimulating environment to the developing pup. Communal nest characterizes(More)
Although epidemiological data associate hypertension with a strong predisposition to develop Alzheimer disease, no mechanistic explanation exists so far. We developed a model of hypertension, obtained by transverse aortic constriction, leading to alterations typical of Alzheimer disease, such as amyloid plaques, neuroinflammation, blood-brain barrier(More)
During the early post-natal phases the brain is experience-seeking and provided by a considerable plasticity which allows a fine tuning between the external environment and the developing organism. Since the early work of Seymour Levine, an impressive amount of research has clearly shown that stressful experiences exert powerful effects on the brain and(More)
The early social environment has a profound impact on developmental trajectories. Although an impoverished early environment can undermine the acquisition of appropriate social skills, the specific role played by the different components of an individual's early environment in building social competencies has not been fully elucidated. Here we setup an(More)
To investigate the psychiatric symptoms accompanying the early phases of Parkinson's disease (PD), we injected adult rats with 10.5 microg 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) bilaterally into the dorsal striatum. The resulting neurodegeneration led, 12 weeks after injection, to a mild (36%) reduction of striatal dopamine. We tested the behavioral response of sham(More)
During early postnatal phase, the environment deeply affects developmental trajectories through epigenetic mechanisms that control the levels of key molecules for brain function, such as neurotrophins. Indeed, it has been shown that adverse early experiences induce epigenetic modifications leading to decreased brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels(More)
Hypertension and sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been associated but clear pathophysiological links have not yet been demonstrated. Hypertension and AD share inflammation as a pathophysiological trait. Thus, we explored if modulating neuroinflammation could influence hypertension-induced β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition. Possible interactions among(More)
Early experiences profoundly affect the adult coping response to stress and, consequently, adult vulnerability to psychopathologies triggered by stressing conditions, such as major depression. Though studies in animal models have demonstrated that individuals reared in different conditions are differently vulnerable to a stressor of a specific quality, no(More)
Early experiences produce persistent changes in behavior and brain function. Being reared in a communal nest (CN), consisting of a single nest where three mouse mothers keep their pups together and share care-giving behavior from birth to weaning, provides an highly stimulating social environment to the developing pup since both mother-offspring and(More)