Pietro Giusti

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Purine nucleotides are well established as extracellular signaling molecules. P2X receptors are ATP-gated cation channels that mediate fast excitatory transmission in diverse regions of the brain and spinal cord. Several P2X receptor subtypes, including P2X(7), have the unusual property of changing their ion selectivity during prolonged exposure to ATP,(More)
Unilateral injection into the right substantia nigra of the catecholaminergic neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) produces extensive loss of dopaminergic cells ('hemi-parkinsonian rat'). The pineal hormone melatonin, which is a potent antioxidant against different reactive oxygen species and has been reported to be neuroprotective in vivo and in vitro,(More)
Cerebellar granule neurons maintained in medium containing serum and 25 mM K+ reliably undergo an apoptotic death when switched to serum-free medium with 5 mM K+. New mRNA and protein synthesis and formation of reactive oxygen intermediates are required steps in K+ deprivation-induced apoptosis of these neurons. Here we show that neurotrophins, members of(More)
One of the more important recent advances in neuroscience research is the understanding that there is extensive communication between the immune system and the central nervous system (CNS). Proinflammatory cytokines play a key role in this communication. The emerging realization is that glia and microglia, in particular, (which are the brain's resident(More)
Positive allosteric modulators of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptors, including benzodiazepines and congeners, can be classified into three categories: 1) full allosteric modulators (i.e., triazolam and alprazolam) that act with high potency and efficacy at many GABAA receptors; 2) selective allosteric modulators (i.e., diazepam) that act with high(More)
Long-term treatment of rats with full (triazolam) or selective (diazepam) allosteric modulators of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors rapidly induced tolerance to the protective effect of these drugs against bicuculline-induced convulsion. In contrast, long-term administration of partial allosteric modulators (imidazenil and bretazenil) of(More)
In this study, we injected 10 mg/kg kainate i.p. into rats. This resulted in a brain injury, which we quantified in the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the pyriform cortex. Neuronal damage was preceded by a set of typical behavioral signs and by biochemical changes (noradrenaline decrease and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid increase) in the affected brain areas.(More)
Glia and microglia in particular elaborate pro-inflammatory molecules that play key roles in central nervous system (CNS) disorders from neuropathic pain and epilepsy to neurodegenerative diseases. Microglia respond also to pro-inflammatory signals released from other non-neuronal cells, mainly those of immune origin such as mast cells. The latter are found(More)
Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a crucial mediator in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases at the periphery and in the central nervous system (CNS). Produced as an unprocessed and inactive pro-form which accumulates intracellularly, release of the processed cytokine is strongly promoted by ATP acting at the purinergic P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) in cells primed(More)
Previous studies have shown that the serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine affects neural progenitors derived from postnatal cerebellum or adult hippocampus and stimulates their proliferation. In the human cerebellum, the proliferation of cerebellar granule cells (CGC) continues until the 11th postnatal month and could be influenced in infants by(More)