Mauro 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 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Polyamines and the key enzyme for their biosynthesis, ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) play an important role in the control of neuronal proliferation and differentiation. Exposure to agents that interfere with normal cell maturation is expected to result in alteration of neuronal ODC developmental pattern. We have administered to newborn rats, about 6 and 30(More)
Microencephalic rats obtained by gestational treatment with the DNA alkylating agent methylazoxymethanol, show a remarkable lack of sensitivity to excitotoxic neuropathology caused by systemic injections of the convulsant neurotoxin kainic acid. Taking advantage of this, we have studied in these rats, as well as in normal rats, the relationship between the(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)