Publications by authors named "Alessia Vona"

4 Publications

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Acute visceral pain relief mediated by A3AR agonists in rats: involvement of N-type voltage-gated calcium channels.

Pain 2020 09;161(9):2179-2190

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health-Neurofarba-Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Florence, Italy.

Abstract: Pharmacological tools for chronic visceral pain management are still limited and inadequate. A3 adenosine receptor (A3AR) agonists are effective in different models of persistent pain. Recently, their activity has been related to the block of N-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (Cav2.2) in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. The present work aimed to evaluate the efficacy of A3AR agonists in reducing postinflammatory visceral hypersensitivity in both male and female rats. Colitis was induced by the intracolonic instillation of 2,4-dinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (DNBS; 30 mg in 0.25 mL 50% EtOH). Visceral hypersensitivity was assessed by measuring the visceromotor response and the abdominal withdrawal reflex to colorectal distension. The effects of A3AR agonists (MRS5980 and Cl-IB-MECA) were evaluated over time after DNBS injection and compared to that of the selective Cav2.2 blocker PD173212, and the clinically used drug linaclotide. A3AR agonists significantly reduced DNBS-evoked visceral pain both in the postinflammatory (14 and 21 days after DNBS injection) and persistence (28 and 35 days after DNBS) phases. Efficacy was comparable to effects induced by linaclotide. PD173212 fully reduced abdominal hypersensitivity to control values, highlighting the role of Cav2.2. The effects of MRS5980 and Cl-IB-MECA were completely abolished by the selective A3AR antagonist MRS1523. Furthermore, patch-clamp recordings showed that A3AR agonists inhibited Cav2.2 in dorsal root ganglia neurons isolated from either control or DNBS-treated rats. The effect on Ca2+ current was PD173212-sensitive and prevented by MRS1523. A3AR agonists are effective in relieving visceral hypersensitivity induced by DNBS, suggesting a potential therapeutic role against abdominal pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001905DOI Listing
September 2020

Adenosine A3 receptor activation inhibits pronociceptive N-type Ca2+ currents and cell excitability in dorsal root ganglion neurons.

Pain 2019 05;160(5):1103-1118

Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of NEUROFARBA, University of Florence, Italy.

Recently, studies have focused on the antihyperalgesic activity of the A3 adenosine receptor (A3AR) in several chronic pain models, but the cellular and molecular basis of this effect is still unknown. Here, we investigated the expression and functional effects of A3AR on the excitability of small- to medium-sized, capsaicin-sensitive, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons isolated from 3- to 4-week-old rats. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction experiments and immunofluorescence analysis revealed A3AR expression in DRG neurons. Patch-clamp experiments demonstrated that 2 distinct A3AR agonists, Cl-IB-MECA and the highly selective MRS5980, inhibited Ca-activated K (KCa) currents evoked by a voltage-ramp protocol. This effect was dependent on a reduction in Ca influx via N-type voltage-dependent Ca channels, as Cl-IB-MECA-induced inhibition was sensitive to the N-type blocker PD173212 but not to the L-type blocker, lacidipine. The endogenous agonist adenosine also reduced N-type Ca currents, and its effect was inhibited by 56% in the presence of A3AR antagonist MRS1523, demonstrating that the majority of adenosine's effect is mediated by this receptor subtype. Current-clamp recordings demonstrated that neuronal firing of rat DRG neurons was also significantly reduced by A3AR activation in a MRS1523-sensitive but PD173212-insensitive manner. Intracellular Ca measurements confirmed the inhibitory role of A3AR on DRG neuronal firing. We conclude that pain-relieving effects observed on A3AR activation could be mediated through N-type Ca channel block and action potential inhibition as independent mechanisms in isolated rat DRG neurons. These findings support A3AR-based therapy as a viable approach to alleviate pain in different pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001488DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6669900PMC
May 2019

Adipose-derived stem cells decrease pain in a rat model of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy: Role of VEGF-A modulation.

Neuropharmacology 2018 03 11;131:166-175. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health - NEUROFARBA - Pharmacology and Toxicology Section, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Oxaliplatin therapy of colorectal cancer induces a dose-dependent neuropathic syndrome in 50% of patients. Pharmacological treatments may offer limited relief; scientific efforts are needed for new therapeutic approaches. Therefore we evaluated in a preclinical setting the pain relieving properties of mesenchymal stem cells and its secretome. Rat adipose stem cells (rASCs) were administered in a rat model of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy. A single intravenous injection of rASCs reduced oxaliplatin-dependent mechanical hypersensitivity to noxious and non-noxious stimuli taking effect 1 h after administration, peaking 6 h thereafter and lasting 5 days. Cell-conditioned medium was ineffective. Repeated rASCs injections every 5 days relieved pain each time with a comparable effect. Labeled rASCs were detected in the bloodstream 1 and 3 h after administration and found in the liver 24 h thereafter. In oxaliplatin-treated rats, the plasma concentration of vascular endothelial growth factor (pan VEGF-A) was increased while the isoform VEGFb was upregulated in the spinal cord. Both alterations were reverted by rASCs. The anti-VEGF-A monoclonal antibody bevacizumab (intraperitoneally) reduced oxaliplatin-dependent pain. Studying the peripheral and central role of VEGFb in pain, we determined that the intraplantar and intrathecal injection of the growth factor induced a pro-algesic effect. In the oxaliplatin neuropathy model, the intrathecal infusion of bevacizumab, anti-rat VEGFb antibody and rASCs reduced pain. Adult adipose mesenchymal stem cells could represent a novel approach in the treatment of neuropathic pain. The regulation of VEGF-A is suggested as an effective mechanism in the complex response orchestrated by stem cells against neuropathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.12.020DOI Listing
March 2018

Role of Nitric Oxide, Nitric Oxide Synthase, Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase, and cGMP-Dependent Protein Kinase I in Mouse Stem Cell Cardiac Development.

Stem Cells Int 2016 20;2016:2868323. Epub 2016 Oct 20.

Department of Neurofarba, Pharmacology and Toxicology Unit, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

. Nitric oxide (NO) can trigger cardiac differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), indicating a cardiogenic function of the NO synthetizing enzyme(s) (NOS). However, the involvement of the NO/NOS downstream effectors soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) and cGMP activated protein kinase I (PKG-I) is less defined. Therefore, we assess the involvement of the entire NO/NOS/sGC/PKG-I pathway during cardiac differentiation process. . Mouse ESCs were differentiated toward cardiac lineages by hanging drop methodology for 21 days. NOS/sGC/PKG-I pathway was studied quantifying genes, proteins, enzymatic activities, and effects of inhibition during differentiation. Percentages of beating embryoid bodies (mEBs) were evaluated as an index of cardiogenesis. . Genes and protein expression of enzymes were increased during differentiation with distinctive kinetics and proteins possessed their enzymatic functions. Exogenous administered NO accelerated whereas the blockade of PKG-I strongly slowed cardiogenesis. sGC inhibition was effective only at early stages and NOS blockade ineffective. Of NOS/sGC/PKG-I pathway, PKG-I seems to play the prominent role in cardiac maturation. . We concluded that exogenous administered NO and other pharmacological strategies able to increase the activity of PKG-I provide new tools to investigate and promote differentiation of cardiogenic precursors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/2868323DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5093303PMC
October 2016