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Alberto Merighi "Neurotrophins in primary sensory pathways"

Abstract :

aturally-occurring neuronal death (NOND) has been recognized to be an essential process during neural development. It is generally assumed that about half of the neurons produced during neurogenesis die before completion of CNS maturation, and this process occurs though an apoptotic mechanism. In this lecture I will discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms of apoptosis in the postnatal cerebellar cortex as a model of NOND by in vivo and ex vivo (organotypic cultures) approaches. The emerging picture is that of a dual wave of apoptotic cell death affecting central neurons at different stages of their life. The first wave consists of an early neuronal death of proliferating precursors and young postmitotic neuroblasts, and appears to be closely linked to cell cycle regulation. The second wave affects postmitotic neurons at later stages, and is much better understood in functional terms, mainly on the basis of the neurotrophic concept in its broader definition. Ex vivo experiments have been carried by biolistic transfection of organotypic cultures to further dissect out the role of caspase 3 and bcl-2, two of the better characterized modulators of neuronal death or survival, in cerebellar NOND. 

Selected publications

Lossi L, Tamagno I, Merighi A.
Molecular morphology of neuronal apoptosis: analysis of caspase 3 activation during postnatal development of mouse cerebellar cortex.
J Mol Histol. 2004 Aug;35(6):621-9.
Lossi L, Bottarelli L, Candusso ME, Leiter AB, Rindi G, Merighi A.
Transient expression of secretin in serotoninergic neurons of mouse brain during development.
Eur J Neurosci. 2004 Dec;20(12):3259-69.

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