M A Sparapani

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It is now well established that the formation of free radicals and oxidative stress-induced neuronal cell death can be involved in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The pineal hormone melatonin has been suggested to be a neuroprotective antioxidant. To better understand the molecular mechanism of(More)
We used inspiratory resistive training (IRT) in an effort to improve the respiratory muscle endurance of 27 patients with respiratory failure who had failed repeated weaning attempts using standard techniques. Seven patients had primary neuromuscular diseases; the other 20 had primary lung diseases. All patients had stable respiratory failure, without gross(More)
We have studied in a well-characterized in vitro neuronal system, cultures of cerebellar granule cells, the toxicity of polyamines endogenously present in the brain: spermine, spermidine, and putrescine. Twenty-four-hour exposure of mature (8 days in vitro) cultures to 1-500 microM spermine resulted in a dose-dependent death of granule cells, with the(More)
Pregnant rats were treated for five consecutive days during gestation with s.c. injections of the ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) inhibitor alpha-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO). Treatment beginning at gestational days 13 or 14 was effective in inhibiting ODC and altering polyamine levels, and resulted in relatively small decreases in body and forebrain(More)
Young adult rats were chronically treated with lithium (2.5 mmol/kg/day) for 16 days. The day after the last lithium administration, rats were injected s.c. with the excitotoxic convulsant kainic acid (10 mg/kg). As compared to saline controls, lithium-treated rats had no apparent attenuation of convulsions. Furthermore, the induction of brain ornithine(More)
A competitive antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, CGP 39551, was administered daily to neonatal rats with increasing doses from postnatal day 1 to 22. These animals displayed approximately 50% decrease of body weight at the end of treatment and, therefore, both normal and neonatally undernourished rats were used as controls. At a young adult(More)
Pharmacological blockade of the (NMDA) receptor at critical stages of brain development may have long-lasting effects on brain chemistry and on animal behavior. We report here experiments in which the competitive NMDA receptor antagonist CGP 39551 was administered to rat pups from postnatal day 7 (P7) to P18. The stage of treatment was selected to primarily(More)
Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the key enzyme for polyamine biosynthesis, dramatically decreases in activity during normal cerebellar development, in parallel with the progressive differentiation of granule neurons. We have studied whether a similar pattern is displayed by cerebellar granule neurons during survival and differentiation in culture. We report(More)
Microglial cells, like macrophages, are very sensitive to ricin, a galactose-specific toxic lectin belonging to the family of ribosome-inactivating proteins. This toxin can be taken up by most cells through the binding of its B chain to galactose-containing molecules on the cell membrane. In macrophagic cell types it can be internalised also by mannose(More)
Ricin and volkensin, two potent toxins belonging to the family of ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs), have been largely exploited in recent years in in vivo experiments of neuronal degeneration consequent to suicide transport or immunolesioning. We have determined both the toxicity of, and the inhibition of, protein synthesis by ricin and volkensin in in(More)