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Bernareggi A.,University of Trieste | Bernareggi A.,Brain Center For Neuroscience | Luin E.,University of Trieste | Luin E.,Brain Center For Neuroscience | And 8 more authors.
Acta Physiologica | Year: 2015

Aims: The autocrine activity of the embryonic isoform of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is crucial for the correct differentiation and trophism of skeletal muscle cells before innervation. The functional activity of extracellular adenosine and adenosine receptor subtypes expressed in differentiating myotubes is still unknown. In this study, we performed a detailed analysis of the role of adenosine receptor-mediated effects on the autocrine-mediated nicotinic acetylcholine receptor channel openings and the associated spontaneous intracellular calcium 'spikes' generated in differentiating mouse myotubes in vitro. Methods: Cell-attached patch-clamp recordings and intracellular calcium imaging experiments were performed in contracting myotubes derived from mouse satellite cells. Results: The endogenous extracellular adenosine and the adenosine receptor-mediated activity modulated the properties of the embryonic isoform of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in myotubes in vitro, by increasing the mean open time and the open probability of the ion channel, and sustaining nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-driven intracellular [Ca2+]i 'spikes'. The pharmacological characterization of the adenosine receptor-mediated effects suggested a prevalent involvement of the A2B adenosine receptor subtype. Conclusion: We propose that the interplay between endogenous adenosine and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors represents a potential novel strategy to improve differentiation/regeneration of skeletal muscle. © 2015 Scandinavian Physiological Society.

Bernardis P.,International School for Advanced Studies | Bernardis P.,University of Trieste | Bernardis P.,Brain Center For Neuroscience | Shallice T.,International School for Advanced Studies | Shallice T.,University College London
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology | Year: 2011

In four experiments, a computerized Corsi-like paradigm was used to assess which of the many reference frames are used in visuospatial short-term memory. By varying the relative orientation (slanted +/-45° or in an upright position) of the head and the displays, we modulate the utility of the allocentric, egocentric (eye- and head-centred), and template-centred reference frames. The results of all experiments showed the crucial importance of the gravitational allocentric reference frames while using visuospatial short-term memory to retain a spatial sequence of elements. The results also provide some support for a mental rotation process involved in recognition following angular displacement of a multi-item display. © 2011 The Experimental Psychology Society.

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