Pierluigi Nicotera

Learn More
To live or to die? This crucial question eloquently reflects the dual role of Ca2+ in living organisms--survival factor or ruthless killer. It has long been known that Ca2+ signals govern a host of vital cell functions and so are necessary for cell survival. However, more recently it has become clear that cellular Ca2+ overload, or perturbation of(More)
During ischemic brain injury, glutamate accumulation leads to overstimulation of postsynaptic glutamate receptors with intracellular Ca2+ overload and neuronal cell death. Here we show that glutamate can induce either early necrosis or delayed apoptosis in cultures of cerebellar granule cells. During and shortly after exposure to glutamate, a subpopulation(More)
Apoptosis and necrosis are considered conceptually and morphologically distinct forms of cell death. Here, we report that demise of human T cells caused by two classic apoptotic triggers (staurosporin and CD95 stimulation) changed from apoptosis to necrosis, when cells were preemptied of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Nuclear condensation and DNA(More)
N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated neurotoxicity may depend, in part, on the generation of nitric oxide (NO.) and superoxide anion (O2.-), which react to form peroxynitrite (OONO-). This form of neurotoxicity is thought to contribute to a final common pathway of injury in a wide variety of acute and chronic neurologic disorders, including focal(More)
In brain ischemia, gating of postsynaptic glutamate receptors and other membrane channels triggers intracellular Ca2+ overload and cell death. In excitotoxic settings, the initial Ca2+ influx through glutamate receptors is followed by a second uncontrolled Ca2+ increase that leads to neuronal demise. Here we report that the major plasma membrane Ca2+(More)
Incubation of isolated rat liver nuclei with ATP, NAD+, and submicromolar Ca2+ concentrations resulted in extensive DNA hydrolysis. Half-maximal activity occurred with 200 nM Ca2+, and saturation of the process was observed with 1 microM Ca2+. ATP stimulated a calmodulin-dependent nuclear Ca2+ uptake system which apparently mediated endonuclease activation.(More)
BACKGROUND Excitotoxicity and excess generation of nitric oxide (NO) are believed to be fundamental mechanisms in many acute and chronic neurodegenerative disorders. Disturbance of Ca2+ homeostasis and protein nitration/nitrosylation are key features in such conditions. Recently, a family of proteases collectively known as caspases has been implicated as(More)
As evidence emerges that complex gene alterations are involved in the onset of Parkinson's disease (PD), the role of environmental chemicals in the pathogenesis of this disease becomes intensely debated. Although it is undisputed that acute exposure to certain chemicals such as 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) is sufficient to cause human(More)