Rita Pillai

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It has recently been demonstrated that the fate of adult cells is not restricted to their tissues of origin. In particular, it has been shown that bone marrow stem cells can give rise to cells of different tissues, including neural cells, hepatocytes and myocytes, expanding their differentiation potential. In order to identify factors able to lead(More)
Central nervous system degenerative diseases are often characterized by an early, strong reaction of astrocytes and microglia. Both these cell types can play a double role, protecting neurons against degeneration through the synthesis and secretion of trophic factors or inducing degeneration through the secretion of toxic molecules. Therefore, we studied(More)
BACKGROUND Imbalance of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and related modulators has been implicated as an important factor in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as motor neuron disease (MND). In this context, the role and mechanism of action of gabapentin and baclofen have been extensively investigated, although with(More)
The high serum concentration of estrone sulfate and the presence of estrone sulfatase in breast tumors constitute an important mechanism of local synthesis of estrogens in the tissue. Thus, inhibitors of estrone sulfatase may be effective in the treatment of estrogen-dependent breast cancer. In this study, we synthesized several isostructural analogs of(More)
The synthesis and biochemical evaluation of estrone sulfatase inhibitors are described. Inhibitors were designed through modifications of the substrate estrone sulfate. An in vitro assay using the microsomal fraction isolated from human term placenta was used to evaluate sulfatase inhibitory activity. All the inhibitors (except sulfonyl chloride analog)(More)
Synthetic analogs of estrone sulfate which carry differently substituted sulfonyl groups at position 3 of an invariable 3-desoxyestrone (dE1) moiety were tested in vitro as inhibitors of the human placental sterylsulfatase. Using both placental microsomes and a highly purified placental sterylsulfatase preparation as the enzyme source and(More)
S100B is a Ca(2+)-binding protein expressed in the nervous system. Increased levels of S100B in the extracellular space have been detected in several neurological disorders. We investigated the response of human astrocytes to micromolar chronic concentrations of this protein measuring the expression of some costimulatory molecules, such as CD137, CD137-L,(More)
Several recent studies have proposed that astrocytes may contribute to neurogenesis, not only as a source of trophic substances regulating it, but also as stem cells themselves. In order to better understand these mechanisms, primary astrocyte cultures were established from human fetal brain. After 3-4 weeks in culture, astrocytes (about 95% GFAP+;(More)
It has recently been reported that adult hematopoietic stem cells can differentiate into neural cells, opening new frontiers in therapy for neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, adult human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) were isolated via magnetic bead sorting, using a specific CD34 antibody and cultured with human astrocyte culture conditioned medium(More)
abstract In the field of developmental biology, there is compelling evidence for a network of activity of pluripotency and stem-associated genes comprising of Oct4, Nanog and nestin. During neurogenesis, the choice between enhancement versus suppression of transcriptional modulation of these identified genes determines the balance between self-renewal(More)