Riccardo Maria Bianchi

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Mutations in FMR1, which encodes the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), are the cause of fragile X syndrome (FXS), an X-linked mental retardation disorder. Inactivation of the mouse gene Fmr1 confers a number of FXS-like phenotypes including an enhanced susceptibility to epileptogenesis during development. We find that in a FXS mouse model, in(More)
BACKGROUND BC RNAs and the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) are translational repressors that have been implicated in the control of local protein synthesis at the synapse. Work with BC1 and Fmr1 animal models has revealed that phenotypical consequences resulting from the absence of either BC1 RNA or FMRP are remarkably similar. To establish(More)
Many neuropsychiatric symptoms of fragile X syndrome (FXS) are believed to be a consequence of altered regulation of protein synthesis at synapses. We discovered that lovastatin, a drug that is widely prescribed for the treatment of high cholesterol, can correct excess hippocampal protein synthesis in the mouse model of FXS and can prevent one of the robust(More)
Application of group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonists elicits seizure discharges in vivo and prolonged ictal-like activity in in vitro brain slices. In this study we examined 1) if group I mGluRs are activated by synaptically released glutamate during epileptiform discharges induced by convulsants in hippocampal slices and, if so, 2)(More)
Rhythmic oscillatory activities at the theta frequency (4-12 Hz) in the hippocampus have long-attracted attention because they have been implicated in diverse brain functions, including spatial cognition. Although studies based on pharmacology and lesion experiments suggested heterogeneity of these rhythms and their behavioral correlates, controversies are(More)
Sperm cells from control donors of proven fertility and men from barren couples were studied by conventional procedures, i.e., light microscopy as well as flow cytometry. Light microscopy analysis of semen included the measurement of spermatozoa concentration, morphology, and motility. All the men from barren couples were asthenozoospermic at the(More)
Transient stimulation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) induces persistent prolonged epileptiform discharges in hippocampal slices via a protein synthesis-dependent process. At present, the signaling process underlying the induction of these epileptiform discharges remains unknown. We examined the possible role of extracellular(More)
Application of the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonist (1S, 3R)-1-aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid (ACPD) or the selective group I mGluR agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) depolarized both CA3 and CA1 pyramidal cells in guinea pig hippocampal slices. Simultaneous recordings of voltage and intracellular Ca2+ levels revealed that(More)
Cultures of primary neurons or thin brain slices are typically prepared from immature animals. We introduce a method to prepare hippocampal slice cultures from mature rats aged 20-30 days. Mature slice cultures retain hippocampal cytoarchitecture and synaptic connections up to 3 months in vitro. Spontaneous epileptiform activity is rarely observed(More)
Regulatory RNAs have been suggested to contribute to the control of gene expression in eukaryotes. Brain cytoplasmic (BC) RNAs are regulatory RNAs that control translation initiation. We now report that neuronal BC1 RNA plays an instrumental role in the protein-synthesis-dependent implementation of neuronal excitation-repression equilibria. BC1 repression(More)