Foto del docente

Barbara Monti

Associate Professor

Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology

Academic discipline: BIO/09 Physiology

Research

Keywords: neuroprotection neurodegeneration neuroinflammation memory microglia glia-neuron interactions molecular and epigenetic mechanisms AGC-1 deficiency rat cerebellar neurons neuronal survival in vitro and in vivo models drug screening

1. Role of microglia in neuronal protection and their alteration in neuropathological conditions: focus on ALS (granted by The ALS Association, co-PI Dr. Giampaolo Zuccheri, FaBiT);

2. Interactions between neurons and glial cells in the pathophysiology of SN: ACG-1 deficiency (granted by Telethon Foundation, co-PI Dr. Massimo Lasorsa, CNR-Bari, in collaboration with Prof. Laura Mercolini and Dr. Federico Giorgi, FaBiT);

3. Screening and study of the effect of small molecules on neuronal survival/death and on glial activation in collaboration with Prof. Maria Laura Bolognesi (FaBiT).

4. Molecular and epigenetic mechanisms, and role of microglia in the hippocampal-dependent memory;



1.      Microglial role on neuroprotection and their alteration in neuropathological conditions: microglia has been demonstrated to be involved not only in brain pathology, but also in physiology. In particular , microglia produce neuroprotective and pro-survival factors . We are currently trying to indentify these factors , both through the analysis of known neuroprotective agents and through a proteomic approach, in order to study their effect on in vitro and in vivo models of neurodegeneration and their alteration in neuropathological conditions. In particular, we are focused on the exosomal release by microglial cells of proteins and miRNA to understand their role on neuroinflammation spreading (granted by The ALS Association, co-PI Dr. Giampaolo Zuccheri, FaBiT);

2.     Glia-neuron interactions in brain physiopathology: ACG-1 deficiency. Interactions between glial cells (astrocytes, microglia and oligodendrocytes) are crucial for neuronal survival and function. By using in vitro and in vivo models, we are studying the reciprocal signaling between these cells in physiological conditions, as well as their alterations in neuropathology. In particular, we are focusing on the study of these interaction in the rare genetic disease AGC-1 deficiency,  caused by a defect in the gene for AGC-1, determining degeneration of myelin and neuronal death with devastating neurological effects  (granted by Telethon Foundation, co-PI Dr. Massimo Lasorsa, CNR-Bari, in collaboration with Prof. Laura Mercolini and Dr. Federico Giorgi, FaBiT);

3.     Screening and study of the effect of small molecule synthetic on survival / death neuronal and glial activation: in collaboration with prof. Maria Laura Bolognesi, we are performing the screening and the study of the effect of synthesic small molecules on neuronal survival and/or death and on glial activation, with special reference to the microglial phenotypic shift (M2 vs. M1).

4. Molecular mechanisms, epigenetic and role of microglia in the hippocampus-dependent memory; it is known that long-term memory requires gene expression, which is regulated by transcription factor, or through epigenetic mechanisms, whether as a result of inflammation and therefore microglial activation. Using the behavioral test of contextual fear conditioning and dell'inhibitory avoidance, we are studying the molecular and epigenetic mechanisms of memory in the hippocampus of rodents and their regulation by inflammation in control conditions or after treatments.

Latest news

At the moment no news are available.