Publications by authors named "Maria G Giovannini"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

An Overview on the Differential Interplay Among Neurons-Astrocytes-Microglia in CA1 and CA3 Hippocampus in Hypoxia/Ischemia.

Front Cell Neurosci 2020 11;14:585833. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

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

Neurons have been long regarded as the basic functional cells of the brain, whereas astrocytes and microglia have been regarded only as elements of support. However, proper intercommunication among neurons-astrocytes-microglia is of fundamental importance for the functional organization of the brain. Perturbation in the regulation of brain energy metabolism not only in neurons but also in astrocytes and microglia may be one of the pathophysiological mechanisms of neurodegeneration, especially in hypoxia/ischemia. Glial activation has long been considered detrimental for survival of neurons, but recently it appears that glial responses to an insult are not equal but vary in different brain areas. In this review, we first take into consideration the modifications of the vascular unit of the glymphatic system and glial metabolism in hypoxic conditions. Using the method of triple-labeling fluorescent immunohistochemistry coupled with confocal microscopy (TIC), we recently studied the interplay among neurons, astrocytes, and microglia in chronic brain hypoperfusion. We evaluated the quantitative and morpho-functional alterations of the neuron-astrocyte-microglia triads comparing the hippocampal CA1 area, more vulnerable to ischemia, to the CA3 area, less vulnerable. In these contiguous and interconnected areas, in the same experimental hypoxic conditions, astrocytes and microglia show differential, finely regulated, region-specific reactivities. In both areas, astrocytes and microglia form triad clusters with apoptotic, degenerating neurons. In the neuron-astrocyte-microglia triads, the cell body of a damaged neuron is infiltrated and bisected by branches of astrocyte that create a microscar around it while a microglial cell phagocytoses the damaged neuron. These coordinated actions are consistent with the scavenging and protective activities of microglia. In hypoxia, the neuron-astrocyte-microglia triads are more numerous in CA3 than in CA1, further indicating their protective effects. These data, taken from contiguous and interconnected hippocampal areas, demonstrate that glial response to the same hypoxic insult is not equal but varies significantly. Understanding the differences of glial reactivity is of great interest to explain the differential susceptibility of hippocampal areas to hypoxia/ischemia. Further studies may evidence the differential reactivity of glia in different brain areas, explaining the higher or lower sensitivity of these areas to different insults and whether glia may represent a target for future therapeutic interventions.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2020.585833DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7686560PMC
November 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.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.00399DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5928446PMC
April 2018

Alterations in the Interplay between Neurons, Astrocytes and Microglia in the Rat Dentate Gyrus in Experimental Models of Neurodegeneration.

Front Aging Neurosci 2017 11;9:296. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

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

The hippocampus is negatively affected by aging and neurodegenerative diseases leading to impaired learning and memory abilities. A diverse series of progressive modifications in the intercellular communication among neurons, astrocytes and microglia occur in the hippocampus during aging or inflammation. A detailed understanding of the neurobiological modifications that contribute to hippocampal dysfunction may reveal new targets for therapeutic intervention. The current study focussed on the interplay between neurons and astroglia in the Granule Layer (GL) and the Polymorphic Layer (PL) of the Dentate Gyrus (DG) of adult, aged and LPS-treated rats. In GL and PL of aged and LPS-treated rats, astrocytes were less numerous than in adult rats. In GL of LPS-treated rats, astrocytes acquired morphological features of reactive astrocytes, such as longer branches than was observed in adult rats. Total and activated microglia increased in the aged and LPS-treated rats, as compared to adult rats. In the GL of aged and LPS-treated rats many neurons were apoptotic. Neurons decreased significantly in GL and PL of aged but not in rats treated with LPS. In PL of aged and LPS-treated rats many damaged neurons were embraced by microglia cells and were infiltrated by branches of astrocyte, which appeared to be bisecting the cell body, forming triads. Reactive microglia had a scavenging activity of dying neurons, as shown by the presence of neuronal debris within their cytoplasm. The levels of the chemokine fractalkine (CX3CL1) increased in hippocampal homogenates of aged rats and rats treated with LPS, and CX3CL1 immunoreactivity colocalized with activated microglia cells. Here we demonstrated that in the DG of aged and LPS-treated rats, astrocytes and microglia cooperate and participate in phagocytosis/phagoptosis of apoptotic granular neurons. The differential expression/activation of astroglia and the alteration of their intercommunication may be responsible for the different susceptibility of the DG in comparison to the CA1 and CA3 hippocampal areas to neurodegeneration during aging and inflammation.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2017.00296DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5601988PMC
September 2017

Pharmacological modulation of blood-brain barrier increases permeability of doxorubicin into the rat brain.

Am J Cancer Res 2013 14;3(4):424-32. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Department of Paediatric Medicine, Neuro-oncology Unit, Anna Meyer Children's University Hospital Florence, Italy.

Our group recently demonstrated in a rat model that pretreatment with morphine facilitates doxorubicin delivery to the brain in the absence of signs of increased acute systemic toxicity. Morphine and other drugs such as dexamethasone or ondansetron seem to inhibit MDR proteins localized on blood-brain barrier, neurons and glial cells increasing the access of doxorubicin to the brain by efflux transporters competition. We explored the feasibility of active modification of the blood-brain barrier protection, by using morphine dexamethasone or ondansetron pretreatment, to allow doxorubicin accumulation into the brain in a rodent model. Rats were pretreated with morphine (10 mg/kg, i.p.), dexamethasone (2 mg/kg, i.p.) or ondansetron (2 mg/kg, i.p.) before injection of doxorubicin (12 mg/kg, i.p.). Quantitative analysis of doxorubicin was performed by mass spectrometry. Acute hearth and kidney damage was analyzed by measuring doxorubicin accumulation, LDH activity and malondialdehyde plasma levels. The concentration of doxorubicin was significantly higher in all brain areas of rats pretreated with morphine (P < 0.001) or ondansetron (P < 0.05) than in control tissues. The concentration of doxorubicin was significantly higher in cerebral hemispheres and brainstem (P < 0.05) but not in cerebellum of rats pretreated with dexamethasone than in control tissues. Pretreatment with any of these drugs did not increase LDH activity or lipid peroxidation compared to controls. Our data suggest that morphine, dexamethasone or ondansetron pretreatment is able to allow doxorubicin penetration inside the brain by modulating the BBB. This effect is not associated with acute cardiac or renal toxicity. This finding might provide the rationale for clinical applications in the treatment of refractory brain tumors and pave the way to novel applications of active but currently inapplicable chemotherapeutic drugs.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3744021PMC
August 2013