Publications by authors named "Mariantonia Meloni"

3 Publications

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Morphological and physiological changes in mature in vitro neuronal networks towards exposure to short-, middle- or long-term simulated microgravity.

PLoS One 2013 16;8(9):e73857. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Radiobiology Unit, Molecular and Cellular Biology expert group, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK•CEN, Mol, Belgium ; Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Cytology, Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

One of the objectives of the current international space programmes is to investigate the possible effects of the space environment on the crew health. The aim of this work was to assess the particular effects of simulated microgravity on mature primary neuronal networks and specially their plasticity and connectivity. For this purpose, primary mouse neurons were first grown for 10 days as a dense network before being placed in the Random Positioning Machine (RPM), simulating microgravity. These cultures were then used to investigate the impact of short- (1 h), middle- (24 h) and long-term (10 days) exposure to microgravity at the level of neurite network density, cell morphology and motility as well as cytoskeleton properties in established two-dimensional mature neuronal networks. Image processing analysis of dense neuronal networks exposed to simulated microgravity and their subsequent recovery under ground conditions revealed different neuronal responses depending on the duration period of exposure. After short- and middle-term exposures to simulated microgravity, changes in neurite network, neuron morphology and viability were observed with significant alterations followed by fast recovery processes. Long exposure to simulated microgravity revealed a high adaptation of single neurons to the new gravity conditions as well as a partial adaptation of neuronal networks. This latter was concomitant to an increase of apoptosis. However, neurons and neuronal networks exposed for long-term to simulated microgravity required longer recovery time to re-adapt to the ground gravity. In conclusion, a clear modulation in neuronal plasticity was evidenced through morphological and physiological changes in primary neuronal cultures during and after simulated microgravity exposure. These changes were dependent on the duration of exposure to microgravity.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0073857PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774774PMC
May 2014

Microgravity alters basal and insulin-mediated metabolic activity of normal and neoplastic cells.

J Gravit Physiol 2004 Jul;11(2):P185-6

Dpt. di Scienze Fisiologiche Biochimiche e Cellulari-Università di Sassari, Sassari, Italy.

In this paper we report the behaviour of normal vascular smooth muscle cells and transformed breast cancer cells under normal versus simulated microgravity conditions by comparing cell proliferation, Glucose transport, Methionine uptake and protein synthesis. Modeled microgravity profoundly affects cell growth (especially in normal cells) and Glucose or Methionine metabolism (although to different extent in the two cell lines). Since both cells own responsive insulin receptors, the comparison was extended to insulin-stimulated versus unstimulated conditions. We report that the detected metabolic changes were strongly enhanced when the cells were simultaneously stimulated with insulin and subjected to modeled microgravity stress. Such observations may have important returns for human health in space; they deserve further attention.
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July 2004

Creating conditions similar to those that occur during exposure of cells to microgravity induces apoptosis in human lymphocytes by 5-lipoxygenase-mediated mitochondrial uncoupling and cytochrome c release.

J Leukoc Biol 2003 Apr;73(4):472-81

Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Teramo, Italy.

Creating conditions similar to those that occur during exposure of cells to microgravity induced a sixfold increase of apoptotic bodies and DNA fragments in human lymphocytes, paralleled by an early (within 2 h) fourfold increase in 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) activity and a fivefold decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential and increase in cytochrome c release (within 4 and 8 h, respectively). Similar membrane potential and cytochrome c release were observed in isolated mitochondria treated with physiological amounts of 5-LOX and were enhanced by creating conditions similar to those that occur during exposure of cells to microgravity. 5-LOX inhibitors, 5,8,11,14-eicosatetraynoic acid and caffeic acid, completely prevented apoptosis, whereas the phospholipase A(2) inhibitor methyl-arachidonoyl fluorophosphonate and the 5-LOX activating protein inhibitor MK886 reduced it to 65-70%. The intracellular calcium chelator EGTA-acetoxymethylester reduced 5-LOX activity and apoptosis to 30-40% of controls, whereas the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor SB203580 was ineffective. The caspase-3 and caspase-9 inhibitors Z-Asp(OCH(3))-Glu(OCH(3))-Val-Asp(OCH(3))-fluoromethylketone (FMK) and Z-Leu-Glu(OCH(3))-His-Asp(OCH(3))-FMK reduced apoptotic bodies to 25-30% of the control cells. Finally, creating conditions similar to those that occur during exposure of cells to microgravity did not induce apoptosis in human lymphoma U937 cells, which did not express an active 5-LOX.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1189/jlb.0602295DOI Listing
April 2003