Publications by authors named "Anna M Pugliese"

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

The Selective Antagonism of Adenosine A Receptors Reduces the Synaptic Failure and Neuronal Death Induced by Oxygen and Glucose Deprivation in Rat CA1 Hippocampus .

Front Pharmacol 2018 24;9:399. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

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

Ischemia is a multifactorial pathology characterized by different events evolving in time. Immediately after the ischemic insult, primary brain damage is due to the massive increase of extracellular glutamate. Adenosine in the brain increases dramatically during ischemia in concentrations able to stimulate all its receptors, A, A, A, and A. Although adenosine exerts clear neuroprotective effects through A receptors during ischemia, the use of selective A receptor agonists is hampered by their undesirable peripheral side effects. So far, no evidence is available on the involvement of adenosine A receptors in cerebral ischemia. This study explored the role of adenosine A receptors on synaptic and cellular responses during oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in the CA1 region of rat hippocampus . We conducted extracellular recordings of CA1 field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSPs); the extent of damage on neurons and glia was assessed by immunohistochemistry. Seven min OGD induced anoxic depolarization (AD) in all hippocampal slices tested and completely abolished fEPSPs that did not recover after return to normoxic condition. Seven minutes OGD was applied in the presence of the selective adenosine A receptor antagonists MRS1754 (500 nM) or PSB603 (50 nM), separately administered 15 min before, during and 5 min after OGD. Both antagonists were able to prevent or delay the appearance of AD and to modify synaptic responses after OGD, allowing significant recovery of neurotransmission. Adenosine A receptor antagonism also counteracted the reduction of neuronal density in CA1 stratum pyramidale, decreased apoptosis at least up to 3 h after the end of OGD, and maintained activated mTOR levels similar to those of controls, thus sparing neurons from the degenerative effects caused by the simil-ischemic conditions. Astrocytes significantly proliferated in CA1 stratum radiatum already 3 h after the end of OGD, possibly due to increased glutamate release. Areceptor antagonism significantly prevented astrocyte modifications. Both A receptor antagonists did not protect CA1 neurons from the neurodegeneration induced by glutamate application, indicating that the antagonistic effect is upstream of glutamate release. The selective antagonists of the adenosine A receptor subtype may thus represent a new class of neuroprotective drugs in ischemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.00399DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5928446PMC
April 2018

Young Human Cholinergic Neurons Respond to Physiological Regulators and Improve Cognitive Symptoms in an Animal Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

Front Cell Neurosci 2017 27;11:339. Epub 2017 Oct 27.

Section of Human Anatomy and Histology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

The degeneration of cholinergic neurons of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) in the basal forebrain (BF) is associated to the cognitive decline of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. To date no resolutive therapies exist. Cell-based replacement therapy is a strategy currently under consideration, although the mechanisms underlying the generation of stem cell-derived NBM cholinergic neurons able of functional integration remain to be clarified. Since fetal brain is an optimal source of neuronal cells committed towards a specific phenotype, this study is aimed at isolating cholinergic neurons from the human fetal NBM (hfNBMs) in order to study their phenotypic, maturational and functional properties. Extensive characterization confirmed the cholinergic identity of hfNBMs, including positivity for specific markers (such as choline acetyltransferase) and acetylcholine (Ach) release. Electrophysiological measurements provided the functional validation of hfNBM cells, which exhibited the activation of peculiar sodium (I) and potassium (I) currents, as well as the presence of functional cholinergic receptors. Accordingly, hfNBMs express both nicotinic and muscarinic receptors, which were activated by Ach. The hfNBMs cholinergic phenotype was regulated by the nerve growth factor (NGF), through the activation of the high-affinity NGF receptor TrkA, as well as by 17-β-estradiol through a peculiar recruitment of its own receptors. When intravenously administered in NBM-lesioned rats, hfNBMs determined a significant improvement in memory functions. Histological examination of brain sections showed that hfNBMs (labeled with PKH26 fluorescent dye prior to administration) reached the damaged brain areas. The study provides a useful model to study the ontogenetic mechanisms regulating the development and maintenance of the human brain cholinergic system and to assess new lines of research, including disease modeling, drug discovery and cell-based therapy for AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2017.00339DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5666298PMC
October 2017

Dexpramipexole improves bioenergetics and outcome in experimental stroke.

Br J Pharmacol 2018 01 12;175(2):272-283. Epub 2017 May 12.

Department of Health Sciences, Section of Clinical Pharmacology and Oncology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Background And Purpose: Dexpramipexole, a drug recently tested in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS,) is able to bind F1Fo ATP synthase and increase mitochondrial ATP production. Here, we have investigated its effects on experimental ischaemic brain injury.

Experimental Approach: The effects of dexpramipexole on bioenergetics, Ca fluxes, electrophysiological functions and death were evaluated in primary neural cultures and hippocampal slices exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). Effects on infarct volumes and neurological functions were also evaluated in mice following proximal or distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Distribution of dexpramipexole within the ischaemic brain was evaluated by means of mass spectrometry imaging.

Key Results: Dexpramipexole increased mitochondrial ATP production in cultured neurons or glia and reduces energy failure, prevents intracellular Ca overload and affords cytoprotection when cultures are exposed to OGD. This compound also counteracted ATP depletion, mitochondrial swelling, anoxic depolarization, loss of synaptic activity and neuronal death in hippocampal slices subjected to OGD. Post-ischaemic treatment with dexpramipexole, at doses consistent with those already used in ALS patients, reduced brain infarct size and ameliorated neuroscore in mice subjected to transient or permanent MCAo. Notably, the concentrations of dexpramipexole reached within the ischaemic penumbra equalled those found neuroprotective in vitro.

Conclusion And Implications: Dexpramipexole, a compound able to increase mitochondrial F1Fo ATP-synthase activity reduced ischaemic brain injury. These findings, together with the excellent brain penetration and favourable safety profile in humans, make dexpramipexole a drug with realistic translational potential for the treatment of stroke.

Linked Articles: This article is part of a themed section on Inventing New Therapies Without Reinventing the Wheel: The Power of Drug Repurposing. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v175.2/issuetoc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.13790DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5758384PMC
January 2018