European Brain Research Institute

Rome, Italy

European Brain Research Institute

Rome, Italy

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Deleuze C.,Groupe Hospitalier Pitie Salpetriere | Pazienti A.,European Brain Research Institute | Bacci A.,Groupe Hospitalier Pitie Salpetriere | 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.


Bonito-Oliva A.,Karolinska Institutet | Pignatelli M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Pignatelli M.,European Brain Research Institute | Spigolon G.,Karolinska Institutet | And 10 more authors.
Biological Psychiatry | Year: 2014

Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by the progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway and the emergence of rigidity, tremor, and bradykinesia. Accumulating evidence indicates that PD is also accompanied by nonmotor symptoms including cognitive deficits, often manifested as impaired visuospatial memory. Methods: We studied cognitive performance and synaptic plasticity in a mouse model of PD, characterized by partial lesion of the dopaminergic and noradrenergic inputs to striatum and hippocampus. Sham- and 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned mice were subjected to the novel object recognition test, and long-term potentiation was examined in the dentate gyrus and CA1 regions of the hippocampus. Results: Bilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesion reduced long-term but not short-term novel object recognition and decreased long-term potentiation specifically in the dentate gyrus. These abnormalities did not depend on the loss of noradrenaline but were abolished by the antiparkinsonian drug, L-DOPA, or by SKF81297, a dopamine D1-type receptor agonist. In contrast, activation of dopamine D2-type receptors did not modify the effects produced by the lesion. Blockade of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases prevented the ability of SKF81297 to rescue novel object recognition and long-term potentiation. Conclusions: These findings show that partial dopamine depletion leads to impairment of long-term recognition memory accompanied by abnormal synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. They also demonstrate that activation of dopamine D1 receptors corrects these deficits, through a mechanism that requires intact extracellular signal-regulated kinases signaling. © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry.


Seneviratne M.S.D.,Royal Veterinary College University of London | Faccenda D.,Royal Veterinary College University of London | de Biase V.,European Brain Research Institute | Campanella M.,Royal Veterinary College University of London | And 2 more authors.
Current Molecular Medicine | Year: 2012

The pharmacological agent 1-(2-Chlorophenyl-N-methylpropyl)-3-isoquinolinecarboxamide (PK11195) is the prototypical ligand of the 18-kDa Translocator Protein (TSPO) but at μM concentrations deactivates the oncoprotein Bcl-2 increasing the efficiency of chemotherapeutic agents and promoting the Ca2+-dependent macro-autophagy (or autophagy). In this paper, we report that PK11195, in HeLa cells, modifies the mitochondria-targeted type of autophagy -hereafter referred to as mitophagy-and the associated resizing of the mitochondrial network but does so exclusively in absence of the oncoprotein Bcl-2 (Bcl-2 Kd cells). This is consequence of a "side" targeting of the mitochondrial F1F0-ATPsynthase enzyme, since identical outcome is mimicked by the antibiotic Oligomycin, of which PK11195 matches the effect on: i) mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), ii) ATP homeostasis and iii) Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) generation. Taken together, these data highlight a novel TSPO-independent biological effect for PK11195 and provide evidences for a hitherto uncovered Bcl-2-dependent role of the F1F0-ATPsynthase in mitochondrial quality control. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.


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.


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.


Levi-Montalcini R.,European Brain Research Institute | Piccolino M.,European Brain Research Institute | Wade N.J.,European Brain Research Institute
Brain Research Reviews | Year: 2011

Giuseppe Moruzzi was born one century ago; he was an outstanding Italian neurophysiologist, who was particularly famous for his contributions to the study of the mechanisms underlying the control of the sleep-waking cycle in mammals. In 1990, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Moruzzi's great friend and admirer, used the occasion of an invitation by the University of Parma, where Moruzzi graduated in medicine in 1933, to celebrate Moruzzi's scientific achievements. She wished to pay a tribute to Moruzzi's human and ethical qualities by portraying him as a "perfect model" for the young generation wishing to pursue scientific research. The transcription of "Rita's" tribute to Moruzzi links two of the greatest figures of Italian neuroscience and also provides a lively account of how the personal histories of two promising young scientists intertwined with the great and tragic events of world history in the past century. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Manseau F.,European Brain Research Institute | Marinelli S.,European Brain Research Institute | Mendez P.,European Brain Research Institute | Schwaller B.,University of Fribourg | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Biology | Year: 2010

Networks of specific inhibitory interneurons regulate principal cell firing in several forms of neocortical activity. Fast-spiking (FS) interneurons are potently self-inhibited by GABAergic autaptic transmission, allowing them to precisely control their own firing dynamics and timing. Here we show that in FS interneurons, high-frequency trains of action potentials can generate a delayed and prolonged GABAergic self-inhibition due to sustained asynchronous release at FS-cell autapses. Asynchronous release of GABA is simultaneously recorded in connected pyramidal (P) neurons. Asynchronous and synchronous autaptic release show differential presynaptic Ca2+ sensitivity, suggesting that they rely on different Ca2+ sensors and/or involve distinct pools of vesicles. In addition, asynchronous release is modulated by the endogenous Ca2+ buffer parvalbumin. Functionally, asynchronous release decreases FS-cell spike reliability and reduces the ability of P neurons to integrate incoming stimuli into precise firing. Since each FS cell contacts many P neurons, asynchronous release from a single interneuron may desynchronize a large portion of the local network and disrupt cortical information processing. © 2010 Manseau et al.


Houeland G.,European Brain Research Institute | Romani A.,European Brain Research Institute | Marchetti C.,European Brain Research Institute | Amato G.,European Brain Research Institute | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2010

The etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains elusive. The "amyloid" hypothesis states that toxic action of accumulated β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) on synaptic function causes AD cognitive decline. This hypothesis is supported by analysis of familial AD (FAD)-based transgenic mouse models, where altered amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing leads to Aβ accumulation correlating with hippocampal-dependent memory deficits. Some studies report prominent dentate gyrus (DG) glutamatergic plasticity alterations in these mice, while CA1 plasticity remains relatively unaffected. The "neurotrophic unbalance" hypothesis, on the other hand, states that AD-related loss of cholinergic signaling and altered APP processing are due to alterations in nerve growth factor (NGF) trophic support. This hypothesis is supported by analysis of the AD11 mouse, which exhibits chronic NGF deprivation during adulthood and displays AD-like pathology, including Aβ accumulation and hippocampal-dependent memory deficits. In this study, we analyzed CA1 and DG glutamatergic plasticity in AD11 mice to evaluate whether these mice also share with FAD models a common phenotype in hippocampal synaptic dysfunction. We report that AD11 mice display age-dependent short- and long-term DG plasticity deficits, while CA1 plasticity remains relatively spared. We also report that both structures exhibit enhanced glutamatergic transmission under lower, yet physiological, neurotransmitter release conditions, a defect that should be considered when further evaluating hippocampal synaptic deficits underlying AD pathology. We conclude that severe deficits in DG plasticity represent another common denominator between these two etiologically different types of AD mouse models, independent of the initial insult (overexpression of FAD mutation or NGF deprivation). Copyright © 2010 the authors.


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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