Patrizia Ballerini

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Astrocytes are involved in multiple brain functions in physiological conditions, participating in neuronal development, synaptic activity and homeostatic control of the extracellular environment. They also actively participate in the processes triggered by brain injuries, aimed at limiting and repairing brain damages. Purines may play a significant role in(More)
Brain ischemia stimulates release from astrocytes of adenine-based purines, particularly adenosine, which is neuroprotective. Guanosine, which has trophic properties that may aid recovery following neurological damage, is present in high local concentrations for several days after focal cerebral ischemia. We investigated whether guanine-based purines, like(More)
Astrocyte death may occur in neurodegenerative disorders and complicates the outcome of brain ischemia, a condition associated with high extracellular levels of adenosine and glutamate. We show that pharmacological activation of A(1) adenosine and mGlu3 metabotropic glutamate receptors with N(6)-chlorocyclopentyladenosine (CCPA) and(More)
Growing evidence implicates CD40, a member of the TNFR superfamily, as contributing to the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, strategies to suppress its expression may be of benefit in those disorders. To this aim, we investigated the effect of guanosine, a purine nucleoside that exerts neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects. CD40(More)
The transition of prion protein from a mainly alpha-structured isoform (PrPC) to a beta sheet-containing protein (PrPSc) represents a major pathogenetic mechanism in prion diseases. To study the role of PrP structural conformation in prion-dependent neurodegeneration, we analysed the neurotoxicity of PrP in alpha and beta conformations, using a recombinant(More)
Guanosine exerts neuroprotective effects in the central nervous system. Apoptosis, a morphological form of programmed cell death, is implicated in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD). MPP+, a dopaminergic neurotoxin, produces in vivo and in vitro cellular changes characteristic of PD, such as cytotoxicity, resulting in apoptosis.(More)
Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) caused by an abnormal rate of apoptosis. Endogenous stem cells in the adult mammalian brain indicate an innate potential for regeneration and possible resource for neuroregeneration in PD. We previously showed that(More)
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a pathological condition characterized by a progressive neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons with the consequent reduction of dopamine content in the substantia nigra. The neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) is widely used to mimic the neuropathology of PD in both in vivo and in vitro experimental models. We found that, as(More)
Cysteinyl-leukotrienes (cys-LTs), potent mediators in inflammatory diseases, are produced by nervous tissue, but their cellular source and role in the brain are not very well known. In this report we have demonstrated that rat cultured astrocytes express the enzymes (5'-lipoxygenase and LTC(4) synthase) required for cys-LT production, and release cys-LTs in(More)
After ischemic stroke, early thrombolytic therapy to reestablish tissue perfusion improves outcome but triggers a cascade of deleterious cellular and molecular events. Using a collaborative approach, our groups examined the effects of guanosine (Guo) in response to ischemic reperfusion injury in vitro and in vivo. In a transient middle cerebral artery(More)