Publications by authors named "G Paola Nicchia"

73 Publications

Regulation of aquaporin-4 expression in the central nervous system investigated using M23-AQP4 null mouse.

Glia 2021 May 26. Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

In astrocytes, unknown mechanisms regulate the expression of M1 and M23 isoforms of water channel aquaporin-4 (M1-AQP4 and M23-AQP4). The ratio between these two isoforms controls the AQP4 assembly state in the plasma membrane known as orthogonal arrays of particles (OAPs). To give new insights into these mechanisms, here, we explore the regulation of AQP4 expression in the spinal cord of a CRISPR/Cas9 M23-null mouse model (M23-null). In the M23-null spinal cord OAP assembly, the perivascular localization of AQP4 and M1-AQP4 protein were drastically reduced. In heterozygous, M1-AQP4 was proportionally reduced with M23-AQP4, maintaining the isoform ratio unaffected. We hypothesize a role of the M23-AQP4 in the regulation of M1-AQP4 expression. M1-AQP4 transcription, splicing and M1-AQP4 protein degradation were found to be unaffected in M23-null spinal cord and in M23-null astrocyte primary culture. The translational control was investigated by mRNA-protein pull down and quantitative mass spectrometry, to isolate and quantify AQP4 mRNA binding proteins (AQP4-RBPs). Compared to WT, in M23-null spinal cord, the interaction between AQP4 mRNA and polypyrimidine tract binding protein 1, a positive regulator of AQP4 translation, was higher, while interaction with the RNA helicase DDX17 was lower. In astrocyte primary cultures, DDX17 knockdown upregulated AQP4 protein expression and increased cell swelling, leaving AQP4 mRNA levels unchanged. Here, we identify AQP4-RBPs and provide evidence that in mouse spinal cord M23-AQP4 deletion changes the interaction between AQP4 mRNA and some RBPs involved in AQP4 translation. We describe for the first time the RNA helicase DDX17 as a regulator of AQP4 expression in astrocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/glia.24032DOI Listing
May 2021

Orthogonal arrays of particle assembly are essential for normal aquaporin-4 expression level in the brain.

Glia 2021 Feb 18;69(2):473-488. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

Astrocyte endfeet are endowed with aquaporin-4 (AQP4)-based assemblies called orthogonal arrays of particles (OAPs) whose function is still unclear. To investigate the function of OAPs and of AQP4 tetramers, we have generated a novel "OAP-null" mouse model selectively lacking the OAP forming M23-AQP4 isoform. We demonstrated that AQP4 transcript levels were not reduced by using qPCR. Blue native (BN)/SDS-PAGE and Western blot performed on OAP-null brain and primary astrocyte cultures showed the complete depletion of AQP4 assemblies, the selective expression of M1-AQP4-based tetramers, and a substantial reduction in AQP4 total expression level. Fluorescence quenching and super-resolution microscopy experiments showed that AQP4 tetramers were functionally expressed in astrocyte plasma membrane and their dimensions were reduced compared to wild-type assemblies. Finally, as shown by light and electron microscopy, OAP depletion resulted in a massive reduction in AQP4 expression and a loss of perivascular AQP4 staining at astrocyte endfeet, with only sparse labeling throughout the brain areas analyzed. Our study relies on the unique property of AQP4 to form OAPs, using a novel OAP-null mouse model for the first time, to show that (a) AQP4 assembly is essential for normal AQP4 expression level in the brain and (b) most of AQP4 is organized into OAPs under physiological conditions. Therefore, AQP4 tetramers cannot be used by astrocytes as an alternative to OAPs without affecting AQP4 expression levels, which is important in the physiological and pathological conditions in which OAP aggregation/disaggregation dynamics have been implicated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/glia.23909DOI Listing
February 2021

Changes in Expression and Cellular Localization of Rat Skeletal Muscle ClC-1 Chloride Channel in Relation to Age, Myofiber Phenotype and PKC Modulation.

Front Pharmacol 2020 15;11:714. Epub 2020 May 15.

Department of Pharmacy-Drug Sciences, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Bari, Italy.

The ClC-1 chloride channel 1 is important for muscle function as it stabilizes resting membrane potential and helps to repolarize the membrane after action potentials. We investigated the contribution of ClC-1 to adaptation of skeletal muscles to needs induced by the different stages of life. We analyzed the ClC-1 gene and protein expression as well as mRNA levels of protein kinase C (PKC) alpha and theta involved in ClC-1 modulation, in soleus (SOL) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles of rats in all stage of life. The cellular localization of ClC-1 in relation to age was also investigated. Our data show that during muscle development ClC-1 expression differs according to phenotype. In fast-twitch EDL muscles ClC-1 expression increased 10-fold starting at 7 days up to 8 months of life. Conversely, in slow-twitch SOL muscles ClC-1 expression remained constant until 33 days of life and subsequently increased fivefold to reach the adult value. Aging induced a downregulation of gene and protein ClC-1 expression in both muscle types analyzed. The mRNA of PKC-theta revealed the same trend as ClC-1 except in old age, whereas the mRNA of PKC-alpha increased only after 2 months of age. Also, we found that the ClC-1 is localized in both membrane and cytoplasm, in fibers of 12-day-old rats, becoming perfectly localized on the membrane in 2-month-old rats. This study could represent a point of comparison helpful for the identification of accurate pharmacological strategies for all the pathological situations in which ClC-1 protein is altered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.00714DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7243361PMC
May 2020

A Synergistic Effect of Reactive Oxygen and Reactive Nitrogen Species in Plasma Activated Liquid Media Triggers Astrocyte Wound Healing.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 May 8;21(9). Epub 2020 May 8.

Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari Aldo Moro, 70125 Bari, Italy.

Astrocyte proliferation and migration toward injured Central Nervous System (CNS) areas are key features of astrogliosis and glial scar formation. Even though it is known that intracellular and environmental Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species (RONS) affect astrocyte behaviour in physiological and pathophysiological conditions, their effects on the migration and growth of astrocytes are still unclear. Plasma-technologies are emerging in medicine as a tool to generate RONS for treating cells directly or through Plasma Activated Liquid Media (PALM). In this paper, we show for the first time how the use of PALM can modulate both astrocyte growth and migration as a function of active species produced by plasma in liquids. Our results show that PALM, generated by means of cold atmospheric pressure plasmas fed with N air or O, can modulate astrocyte behaviour depending on the content of hydrogen peroxide and nitrite in the liquid. In particular, HO enriched PALM induced a negative effect on cell growth associated with the mild wound healing improvement of primary astrocytes, in a scratch assay. Nitrite enriched PALM induced a selective effect on the wound healing without affecting cell growth. PALM containing a more balanced level of HO and NO were able to affect cell growth, as well as significantly ameliorate wound healing. None of the PALM investigated induced upregulation of the gliotic inflammatory marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), or of the astrocyte markers Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and Connexin-43 (Cx-43) analysed by Western blot. Finally, immunofluorescence analysis revealed the presence of NO able to induce elongated protrusions at the front end of wounded astrocytes in the direction of cell migration. With our study we believe to have shown that PALM offer a novel tool to modulate astrocyte behaviour and that they are promising candidates for controlling astrogliosis in the case of CNS injuries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21093343DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7247562PMC
May 2020

Stimulation of water and calcium dynamics in astrocytes with pulsed infrared light.

FASEB J 2020 05 23;34(5):6539-6553. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la Fotoreattività, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Bologna, Italy.

Astrocytes are non-neuronal cells that govern the homeostatic regulation of the brain through ions and water transport, and Ca -mediated signaling. As they are tightly integrated into neural networks, label-free tools that can modulate cell function are needed to evaluate the role of astrocytes in brain physiology and dysfunction. Using live-cell fluorescence imaging, pharmacology, electrophysiology, and genetic manipulation, we show that pulsed infrared light can modulate astrocyte function through changes in intracellular Ca and water dynamics, providing unique mechanistic insight into the effect of pulsed infrared laser light on astroglial cells. Water transport is activated and, IP R, TRPA1, TRPV4, and Aquaporin-4 are all involved in shaping the dynamics of infrared pulse-evoked intracellular calcium signal. These results demonstrate that astrocyte function can be modulated with infrared light. We expect that targeted control over calcium dynamics and water transport will help to study the crucial role of astrocytes in edema, ischemia, glioma progression, stroke, and epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201903049RDOI Listing
May 2020