Susanna Pietropaolo

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Using the acoustic startle reflex, prepulse inhibition (PPI) is typically demonstrated by the interaction between two auditory stimuli presented in close temporal proximity. When a startle-eliciting pulse stimulus is shortly preceded by a weak prepulse stimulus, the reaction to the former is attenuated in comparison to when the pulse stimulus is presented(More)
Accumulating evidence suggest that alterations in Reelin-mediated signaling may contribute to neuronal dysfunction associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of senile dementia. However, limited information is available on the effect of age, the major risk factor of AD, on Reelin expression. Here, we report that normal aging in rodents(More)
There is growing interest in the effects of voluntary wheel running activity on brain and behaviour in laboratory rodents and their implications to humans. Here, the major findings to date on the impact of exercise on mental health and diseases as well as the possible underlying neurobiological mechanisms are summarised. Several critical modulating factors(More)
Autism is a pervasive disorder characterized by a complex symptomatology, based principally on social dysfunction. The disorder has a highly complex, largely genetic etiology, involving an impressive variety of genes, the precise contributions of which still remain to be determined. For this reason, a reductionist approach to the study of autism has been(More)
BACKGROUND No animal models of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) with good construct validity are currently available; using genetic models of pathologies characterized by ASD-like deficits, but with known causes, may be therefore a promising strategy. The Fmr1-KO mouse is an example of this approach, modeling Fragile X syndrome, a well-known genetic disorder(More)
Social deprivation during early life can severely affect mental health later in adulthood, leading to the development of behavioural traits associated with several major psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. This has led to the application of social isolation in laboratory animals to model the impact of environmental factors on the aetiopathology(More)
Hypersensitivity in response to sensory stimuli and neocortical hyperexcitability are prominent features of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and autism spectrum disorders, but little is known about the dendritic mechanisms underlying these phenomena. We found that the primary somatosensory neocortex (S1) was hyperexcited in response to tactile sensory stimulation(More)
The triple-transgenic mouse line (3 x Tg-AD) harboring PS1M146V, APPSwe, and taup301L transgenes represents the only transgenic model for Alzheimer's disease (AD) to date capturing both beta-amyloid and tau neuropathology. The present study provides an extensive behavioral characterization of the 3 x Tg-AD mouse line, evaluating the emergence of(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive decline in motor abilities, as well as in cognitive and social behaviors. Most of these behavioral deficits are recapitulated in the R6/1 transgenic mouse, which can therefore be used as an experimental model to identify the neurobiological substrates of HD(More)
Acoustic startle response and its plasticity, e.g., habituation and prepulse inhibition (PPI), have been extensively investigated, being altered in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Yet, little is known about the expression of startle-related behaviors during adolescence, a critical phase in the development of a variety of major neuropsychiatric(More)