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Capsoni S.,Normal School of Pisa | Carucci N.M.,Normal School of Pisa | Cattaneo A.,Normal School of Pisa | Cattaneo A.,European Brain Research Institute
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2012

Several studies suggest that systemic infection occurring during aging and chronic neurodegenerative diseases can evoke an exaggerated immune response that contributes to the progression of neurodegeneration and cognitive decline. However, studies directly addressing the relationship between microbial environment and the onset of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease animal models are lacking. Here we show that the onset of neurodegeneration that transgenic mice develop when raised in conventional husbandry slows down when raising anti-nerve growth factor transgenic mice in a murine pathogen free condition. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Gatliff J.,Royal Veterinary College University of London | Campanella M.,Royal Veterinary College University of London | Campanella M.,University College London | Campanella M.,European Brain Research Institute
Current Molecular Medicine | Year: 2012

In mammals, mitochondria are central in maintaining normal cell function and dissecting the pathways that govern their physiology and pathology is therefore of utmost importance. For a long time, the science world has acknowledged the Translocator Protein (TSPO), an intriguing molecule that, through its position and association with biological processes, stands as one of the hidden regulatory pathways in mitochondrial homeostasis. Here we aim to review the literature and highlight what links TSPO to mitochondrial homeostasis in order to delineate its contribution in the functioning and malfunctioning of this critical organelle. In detail, we will discuss: 1) TSPO localization and interplay with controlling phenomena of mitochondria (e.g. mPTP); 2) TSPO interaction with the prominent mitochondrial player VDAC; consider evidence on how TSPO relates to 3) mitochondrial energy production; 4) Ca2+ signalling and 5) the generation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) before finally describing 6) its part in apoptotic cell death. In essence, we hope to demonstrate the intimate involvement TSPO has in the regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis and muster attention towards this molecule, which is equally central for both cellular and mitochondrial biology. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.

Faccenda D.,Royal Veterinary College University of London | Campanella M.,Royal Veterinary College University of London | Campanella M.,European Brain Research Institute
International Journal of Cell Biology | Year: 2012

In mammals, the mitochondrial F1Fo-ATPsynthase sets out the energy homeostasis by producing the bulk of cellular ATP. As for every enzyme, the laws of thermodynamics command it; however, it is privileged to have a dedicated molecular regulator that controls its rotation. This is the so-called ATPase Inhibitory Factor 1 (IF1) that blocks its reversal to avoid the consumption of cellular ATP when the enzyme acts as an ATP hydrolase. Recent evidence has also demonstrated that IF1 may control the alignment of the enzyme along the mitochondrial inner membrane, thus increasing the interest for the molecule. We conceived this review to outline the fundamental knowledge of the F1Fo-ATPsynthase and link it to the molecular mechanisms by which IF1 regulates its way of function, with the ultimate goal to highlight this as an important and possibly unique means to control this indispensable enzyme in both physiological and pathological settings. Copyright © 2012 Danilo Faccenda and Michelangelo Campanella.

Deleuze C.,Icm Institute Du Cerveau Et Of La Moelle Epiniere | Pazienti A.,European Brain Research Institute | Bacci A.,Icm Institute Du Cerveau Et Of La Moelle Epiniere | Bacci A.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Current Opinion in Neurobiology | Year: 2014

Fast synaptic inhibition sculpts all forms of cortical activity by means of a specialized connectivity pattern between highly heterogeneous inhibitory interneurons and principal excitatory cells. Importantly, inhibitory neurons connect also to each other extensively, following a detailed blueprint, and, indeed, specific forms of disinhibition affect important behavioral functions. Here we discuss a peculiar form of cortical disinhibition: the massive autaptic self-inhibition of parvalbumin-(PV) positive basket cells. Despite being described long ago, autaptic inhibition onto PV basket cells is rarely included in cortical circuit diagrams, perhaps because of its still elusive function. We propose here a potential dual role of autaptic feedback inhibition in temporally coordinating PV basket cells during cortical network activity. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

In the neocortex, the coexistence of temporally locked excitation and inhibition governs complex network activity underlying cognitive functions, and is believed to be altered in several brain diseases. Here we show that this equilibrium can be unlocked by increased activity of layer 5 pyramidal neurons of the mouse neocortex. Somatic depolarization or short bursts of action potentials of layer 5 pyramidal neurons induced a selective long-term potentiation of GABAergic synapses (LTPi) without affecting glutamatergic inputs. Remarkably, LTPi was selective for perisomatic inhibition from parvalbumin basket cells, leaving dendritic inhibition intact. It relied on retrograde signaling of nitric oxide, which persistently altered presynaptic GABA release and diffused to inhibitory synapses impinging on adjacent pyramidal neurons. LTPi reduced the time window of synaptic summation and increased the temporal precision of spike generation. Thus, increases in single cortical pyramidal neuron activity can induce an interneuron-selective GABAergic plasticity effectively altering the computation of temporally coded information.

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