Santa Lucia Foundation at the European Center for Brain Research

Rome, Italy

Santa Lucia Foundation at the European Center for Brain Research

Rome, Italy
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Galderisi U.,The Second University of Naples | Galderisi U.,Institute of Proteins Biochemistry IBP | Galderisi U.,Temple University | Peluso G.,Institute of Proteins Biochemistry IBP | And 8 more authors.
Stem Cell Research | Year: 2013

Neural stem cells (NSCs) raised the hope for cell-based therapies in human neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. Current research strategies aim to isolate, enrich, and propagate homogeneous populations of neural stem cells. Unfortunately, several concerns with NSC cultures currently may limit their therapeutic promise. Exhaustion of growth factors and/or their uncontrolled release with burst and fall in their concentration may greatly affect the in vitro behavior of NSCs. In this context, we investigate whether a device containing heparan sulfate (HS), which is a co-factor in growth factor-mediated cell proliferation and differentiation, could potentiate and prolong the delivery of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) and thus improve in vitro NSC cultivation. We demonstrated that NSCs cultivated in media with a controlled release of FGF-2 from a polyelectrolyte polymer showed a higher proliferation rate, and reduced apoptosis and senescence. In these experimental conditions NSCs preserve their stemness properties for a longer period of time compared with controls. Also of interest is that cell fate properties are conserved as well. The controlled release of FGF-2 reduced the level of oxidative stress and this is associated with a lower level of damaged DNA. This result may explain the reduced level of senescence and apoptosis in NSCs cultivated in the presence of hydrogel-releasing FGF-2. © 2012 .


PubMed | Santa Lucia Foundation at the European Center for Brain Research
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Current pharmaceutical design | Year: 2014

Huntingtons disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor dysfunction, cognitive decline, and emotional and psychiatric disturbances. The genetic mutation is characterized by a CAG expansion, resulting in the formation of a mutant huntingtin protein with an expanded polyglutamine repeat region. Mutated huntingtin has been shown to impair a number of physiological activities by interacting with several factors. In particular, cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are severely affected by mutant huntingtin. In this view, drugs targeted at counteracting CREB loss of function and BDNF decrease have been considered as powerful tools to treat HD. Recently, cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors have been used successfully to increase levels of CREB and BDNF in HD models. Indeed, PDE4, 5 or 10 inhibitors have been shown to afford neuroprotection and modulation of CREB and BDNF. In this review, we will summarize the data supporting the use of PDE inhibitors as the therapeutical approach to fight HD and we will discuss the possible mechanisms of action underlying these effects.

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