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Le Grazie di Ancona, Italy

Balietti M.,Neurobiology of Aging Center | Balietti M.,Cellular Bioenergetics Laboratory | Giannubilo S.R.,Unit of Obstetrics and Gynecology | Giorgetti B.,Neurobiology of Aging Center | And 5 more authors.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2016

BACKGROUND: Astaxanthin (Ax) is a ketocarotenoid of the xanthophyll family with activities such as antioxidation, preservation of the integrity of cell membranes and protection of the redox state and functional integrity of mitochondria. The aim of this study was to investigate potential gender-related differences in the effect of Ax on the aging rat brain. RESULTS: In females, interleukin 1 beta (IL1β) was significantly lower in treated rats in both cerebral areas, and in the cerebellum, treated animals also had significantly higher IL10. In males, no differences were found in the cerebellum, but in the hippocampus, IL1β and IL10 were significantly higher in treated rats. CONCLUSION: These are the first results to show gender-related differences in the effect of Ax on the aging brain, emphasizing the necessity to carefully analyze female and male peculiarities when the anti-aging potentialities of this ketocarotenoid are evaluated. The observations lead to the hypothesis that Ax exerts different anti-inflammatory effects in female and male brains. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

Casoli T.,Neurobiology of Aging Center | Di Stefano G.,Neurobiology of Aging Center | Balietti M.,Neurobiology of Aging Center | Balietti M.,Cellular Bioenergetics Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
Biogerontology | Year: 2010

Alzheimer's disease is an age-dependent neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of neurons, synaptic degeneration, senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Besides these hallmarks, increased accumulation of activated microglia, astrocytes and leukocytes adhering to postcapillary venules are observed in the affected brain areas, suggesting the presence of an ongoing inflammatory process. As neuroinflammation triggers the activation of peripheral immune system, many studies have analyzed circulating inflammatory biomarkers, including basal or stimulated levels of cytokines and related molecules in blood of Alzheimer's patients, but with conflicting results. Platelets are an important source of amyloid- (A) in the circulatory system and play an important pro-inflammatory role. Upon activation, they adhere to leukocytes and endothelial cells by means of adhesive proteins like P-selectin, platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and -2 (ICAM-1 and -2) and secrete inflammatory mediators (chemokines, interleukins). In addition, platelets contain important enzymes involved in inflammatory intermediary synthesis like phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and recent reports demonstrated significant changes in platelet levels and activities in Alzheimer's disease. Thus, as platelets represent an important link between A deposition and inflammatory reactions especially at endothelial level, they can be considered a valuable cellular model to evaluate potential peripheral inflammatory biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Balietti M.,Neurobiology of Aging Center | Balietti M.,Cellular Bioenergetics Laboratory | Giorgetti B.,Neurobiology of Aging Center | Casoli T.,Neurobiology of Aging Center | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2013

Increasing experimental evidence indicates that synaptic alterations play a key role in cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Functional and structural synaptic changes progressively take place, beginning in the early phase of AD, mainly triggered by intracellular accumulation of soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers. These peptides also accumulate within mitochondria, heavily affecting their function and morphology, particularly in synaptic compartments. To better understand the role of mitochondrial impairment in synaptic alterations during the early stages of AD, a morphological investigation was performed by means of electron microscopy in the hippocampus of 3 month-old Tg2576 and transgene-negative littermate mice. In the stratum moleculare of CA1 pyramidal cells (SMCA1) of transgenic animals compared to controls, we found significantly larger and less numerous synapses, with a significantly reduced fraction of the perforated subtype, as well as significantly smaller and more numerous mitochondria. In contrast, no differences between the two groups of mice were found in the inner molecular layer of the dentate gyrus. The reduction of synaptic contacts in SMCA1 indicates a precocious vulnerability of this region, and the synaptic enlargement may reflect a compensating process aimed at maintaining the overall contact density. Accordingly, mitochondrial modifications may represent a plastic reactive phenomenon aimed at sustaining the increased energy needs for synaptic remodeling, since mitochondrial morphology was perfectly preserved and smaller mitochondria are metabolically more efficient. Thus, morphological changes occurring at synaptic level in SMCA1 of 3 month-old Tg2576 mice might reflect a precocious vulnerability associated with a residual plastic reactivity which may slow down functional alterations. © 2013 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

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