Publications by authors named "Benedetta Fazari"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Intranasal pregnenolone increases acetylcholine in frontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala-Preferentially in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the injected nostril.

J Neurochem 2020 04 12;153(2):189-202. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

M et P Pharma AG, Emetten, Switzerland.

This study determined the effects of intranasal pregnenolone (IN-PREG) on acetylcholine (ACh) levels in selected areas of the rat brain, using in vivo microdialysis. Previous studies showed that PREG rapidly reaches the rodent brain after intranasal administration and that direct infusion of PREG and PREG-S into the basal forebrain modulates ACh release in frontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus. In the present study, we investigated the effects of IN-PREG on the cholinergic system in the rat brain. In the first experiment, IN-PREG (5.6 and 11.2 mg/ml) or vehicle was applied bilaterally, and we hypothesized that IN-PREG would increase ACh levels in amygdala, hippocampus, and frontal cortex, relative to baseline and vehicle. Dialysate was collected for 100 min, based on pilot data of duration of effect. Bilateral IN-PREG (5.6 and 11.2 mg/ml) increased frontal cortex and hippocampal ACh relative to both baseline and vehicle. Moreover, 11.2 mg/ml PREG increased ACh in the amygdala relative to baseline, the lower dose, and vehicle. Therefore, in the second experiment, IN-PREG (11.2 mg/ml) was applied only into one nostril, with vehicle applied into the other nostril, in order to determine whether ACh is predominantly increased in the ipsilateral relative to the contralateral amygdala. Unilateral application of IN-PREG increased ACh in the ipsilateral amygdala, whereas no effect was observed on the contralateral side, suggesting that PREG was transported from the nostrils to the brain via the olfactory epithelial pathway, but not by circulation. The present data provide additional information on IN-PREG action in the cholinergic system of frontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus. This may be relevant for therapeutic IN application of PREG in neurogenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.14923DOI Listing
April 2020

Aβ dimers induce behavioral and neurochemical deficits of relevance to early Alzheimer's disease.

Neurobiol Aging 2018 09 17;69:1-9. Epub 2018 Apr 17.

Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Institute of Experimental Psychology, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.

We examined behaviors and neurotransmitter levels in the tgDimer mouse, a model for early Alzheimer's disease, that expresses exclusively soluble amyloid beta (Aβ) dimers and is devoid of Aβ plaques, astrogliosis, and neuroinflammation. Seven-month-old mice were subjected to tests of motor activity, attention, anxiety, habituation learning, working memory, and depression-related behaviors. They were impaired in nonselective attention and motor learning and showed anxiety- and despair-related behaviors. In 7- and 12-month-old mice, levels of acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin were measured in neostriatum, ventral striatum, prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, and entorhinal cortex by high-performance liquid chromatography. The tgDimer mice had lower serotonin turnover rates in hippocampus, ventral striatum, and amygdala relative to wild type controls. The aged tgDimer mice had less hippocampal acetylcholine than adult tgDimers. Stress-test results, based on corticosterone levels, indicated an intact hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in 12-month-old mice. Since neither Aβ plaques nor astrogliosis or neuroinflammation was responsible for these phenotypes, we conclude that Aβ dimers contribute to neurotransmitter dysfunction and behavioral impairments, characteristic for the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2018.04.005DOI Listing
September 2018

Quantitative Proteomics of Synaptosomal Fractions in a Rat Overexpressing Human DISC1 Gene Indicates Profound Synaptic Dysregulation in the Dorsal Striatum.

Front Mol Neurosci 2018 6;11:26. Epub 2018 Feb 6.

Department of Neuroproteomics, Paracelsus Private Medical University, Salzburg, Austria.

Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) is a key protein involved in behavioral processes and various mental disorders, including schizophrenia and major depression. A transgenic rat overexpressing non-mutant human DISC1, modeling aberrant proteostasis of the DISC1 protein, displays behavioral, biochemical and anatomical deficits consistent with aspects of mental disorders, including changes in the dorsal striatum, an anatomical region critical in the development of behavioral disorders. Herein, dorsal striatum of 10 transgenic DISC1 (tgDISC1) and 10 wild type (WT) littermate control rats was used for synaptosomal preparations and for performing liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based quantitative proteomics, using isobaric labeling (TMT10plex). Functional enrichment analysis was generated from proteins with level changes. The increase in DISC1 expression leads to changes in proteins and synaptic-associated processes including membrane trafficking, ion transport, synaptic organization and neurodevelopment. Canonical pathway analysis assigned proteins with level changes to actin cytoskeleton, Gαq, Rho family GTPase and Rho GDI, axonal guidance, ephrin receptor and dopamine-DARPP32 feedback in cAMP signaling. DISC1-regulated proteins proposed in the current study are also highly associated with neurodevelopmental and mental disorders. Bioinformatics analyses from the current study predicted that the following biological processes may be activated by overexpression of DISC1, i.e., regulation of cell quantities, neuronal and axonal extension and long term potentiation. Our findings demonstrate that the effects of overexpression of non-mutant DISC1 or its misassembly has profound consequences on protein networks essential for behavioral control. These results are also relevant for the interpretation of previous as well as for the design of future studies on DISC1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2018.00026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5808171PMC
February 2018

Intra-nasal dopamine alleviates cognitive deficits in tgDISC1 rats which overexpress the human DISC1 gene.

Neurobiol Learn Mem 2017 Dec 28;146:12-20. Epub 2017 Oct 28.

Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany. Electronic address:

The Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) gene has been associated with mental illnesses such as major depression and schizophrenia. The transgenic DISC1 (tgDISC1) rat, which overexpresses the human DISC1 gene, is known to exhibit deficient dopamine (DA) homeostasis. To ascertain whether the DISC1 gene also impacts cognitive functions, 14-15 months old male tgDISC1 rats and wild-type controls were subjected to the novel object preference (NOP) test and the object-based attention test (OBAT) in order to assess short-term memory (1 h), long-term memory (24 h), and attention.

Results: The tgDISC1 group exhibited intact short-term memory, but deficient long-term-memory in the NOP test and deficient attention-related behavior in the OBAT. In a different group of tgDISC1 rats, 3 mg/kg intranasally applied dopamine (IN-DA) or its vehicle was applied prior to the NOP or the OBAT test. IN-DA reversed cognitive deficits in both the NOP and OBAT tests. In a further cohort of tgDISC1 rats, post-mortem levels of DA, noradrenaline, serotonin and acetylcholine were determined in a variety of brain regions. The tgDISC1 group had less DA in the neostriatum, hippocampus and amygdala, less acetylcholine in neostriatum, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, and amygdala, more serotonin in the nucleus accumbens, and less serotonin and noradrenaline in the amygdala.

Conclusions: Our findings show that DISC1 overexpression and misassembly is associated with deficits in long-term memory and attention-related behavior. Since behavioral impairments in tgDISC1 rats were reversed by IN-DA, DA deficiency may be a major cause for the behavioral deficits expressed in this model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2017.10.015DOI Listing
December 2017