Maria Concetta Miniaci

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Excitatory and inhibitory inputs converge on single neurons and are integrated into a coherent output. Although much is known about short-term integration, little is known about how neurons sum opposing signals for long-term synaptic plasticity and memory storage. In Aplysia, we find that when a sensory neuron simultaneously receives inputs from the(More)
The time course of the requirement for local protein synthesis in the stabilization of learning-related synaptic growth and the persistence of long-term memory was examined using Aplysia bifurcated sensory neuron-motor neuron cultures. We find that, following repeated pulses of serotonin (5-HT), the local perfusion of emetine, an inhibitor of protein(More)
Repeated pulses of serotonin (5-HT) induce long-term facilitation (LTF) of the synapses between sensory and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia. To explore how apCAM downregulation at the plasma membrane and CREB-mediated transcription in the nucleus, both of which are required for the formation of LTF, might relate to each other, we(More)
Loss of the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is associated with presumed postsynaptic deficits in mouse models of Fragile X syndrome. However, the possible presynaptic roles of FMRP in learning-related plasticity have received little attention. As a result, the mechanisms whereby FMRP influences synaptic function remain poorly understood. To(More)
To explore how gene products, required for the initiation of synaptic growth, move from the cell body of the sensory neuron to its presynaptic terminals, and from the cell body of the motor neuron to its postsynaptic dendritic spines, we have investigated the anterograde transport machinery in both the sensory and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex(More)
The memory reconsolidation hypothesis suggests that a memory trace becomes labile after retrieval and needs to be reconsolidated before it can be stabilized. However, it is unclear from earlier studies whether the same synapses involved in encoding the memory trace are those that are destabilized and restabilized after the synaptic reactivation that(More)
The signals arriving to Purkinje cells via parallel fibers are essential for all tasks in which the cerebellum is involved, including motor control, learning new motor skills and calibration of reflexes. Since learning also requires the activation of adrenergic receptors, we investigated the effects of adrenergic receptor agonists on the main plastic site(More)
In cerebellar slices, the lowering of oxygen availability, obtained by bubbling N(2) in the medium, reduced the incorporation of radioactive serine into phosphatidylserine (PtdSer). CPCCOEt, an antagonist of metabotropic glutamate receptors type 1 (mGluR1) counteracted the effect, whereas antagonists of NMDA or AMPA receptors were ineffective. In oxygenated(More)
The 5-HT7 receptor (5-HT7R) mediates important physiological effects of serotonin, such as memory and emotion, and is emerging as a therapeutic target for the treatment of cognitive disorders and depression. Although previous studies have revealed an expression of 5-HT7R in cerebellum, particularly at Purkinje cells, its functional role and signaling(More)
L-cysteine is currently recognized as a conditionally essential sulphur amino acid. Besides contributing to many biological pathways, cysteine is a key component of the keratin protein by its ability to form disulfide bridges that confer strength and rigidity to the protein. In addition to cysteine, iron represents another critical factor in regulating(More)