Publications by authors named "Martina Venturini"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

New Insight into the Role of Adenosine in Demyelination, Stroke and Neuropathic Pain.

Front Pharmacol 2020 29;11:625662. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.625662DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7878385PMC
January 2021

Dexpramipexole Enhances K Currents and Inhibits Cell Excitability in the Rat Hippocampus In Vitro.

Mol Neurobiol 2021 Feb 10. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

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

Dexpramipexole (DEX) has been described as the first-in-class F1Fo ATP synthase activator able to boost mitochondrial bioenergetics and provide neuroprotection in experimental models of ischemic brain injury. Although DEX failed in a phase III trial in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, it showed favorable safety and tolerability profiles. Recently, DEX emerged as a Nav1.8 Na channel and transient outward K (I) conductance blocker, revealing therefore an unexpected, pleiotypic pharmacodynamic profile. In this study, we performed electrophysiological experiments in vitro aimed to better characterize the impact of DEX on voltage-dependent currents and synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. By means of patch-clamp recordings on isolated hippocampal neurons, we found that DEX increases outward K currents evoked by a voltage ramp protocol. This effect is prevented by the non-selective voltage-dependent K channel (Kv) blocker TEA and by the selective small-conductance Ca-activated K (SK) channel blocker apamin. In keeping with this, extracellular field recordings from rat hippocampal slices also demonstrated that the compound inhibits synaptic transmission and CA1 neuron excitability. Overall, these data further our understanding on the pharmacodynamics of DEX and disclose an additional mechanism that could underlie its neuroprotective properties. Also, they identify DEX as a lead to develop new modulators of K conductances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-021-02300-5DOI Listing
February 2021

A Adenosine Receptors: When Outsiders May Become an Attractive Target to Treat Brain Ischemia or Demyelination.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Dec 18;21(24). Epub 2020 Dec 18.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health (NEUROFARBA), Section of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Florence, 50139 Florence, Italy.

Adenosine is a signaling molecule, which, by activating its receptors, acts as an important player after cerebral ischemia. Here, we review data in the literature describing AR-mediated effects in models of cerebral ischemia obtained in vivo by the occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCAo) or in vitro by oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) in hippocampal slices. Adenosine plays an apparently contradictory role in this receptor subtype depending on whether it is activated on neuro-glial cells or peripheral blood vessels and/or inflammatory cells after ischemia. Indeed, ARs participate in the early glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity responsible for neuronal and synaptic loss in the CA1 hippocampus. On the contrary, later after ischemia, the same receptors have a protective role in tissue damage and functional impairments, reducing inflammatory cell infiltration and neuroinflammation by central and/or peripheral mechanisms. Of note, demyelination following brain ischemia, or autoimmune neuroinflammatory reactions, are also profoundly affected by ARs since they are expressed by oligodendroglia where their activation inhibits cell maturation and expression of myelin-related proteins. In conclusion, data in the literature indicate the ARs as putative therapeutic targets for the still unmet treatment of stroke or demyelinating diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21249697DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7766015PMC
December 2020

Anxiety in neurosurgical patients undergoing nonurgent surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Neurosurg Focus 2020 12;49(6):E19

1Neurosurgery, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences and Public Health, University of Brescia.

Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many countries into lockdown and has led to the postponement of nonurgent neurosurgical procedures. Although stress has been investigated during this pandemic, there are no reports on anxiety in neurosurgical patients undergoing nonurgent surgical procedures.

Methods: Neurosurgical patients admitted to hospitals in eastern Lombardy for nonurgent surgery after the lockdown prospectively completed a pre- and postoperative structured questionnaire. Recorded data included demographics, pathology, time on surgical waiting list, anxiety related to COVID-19, primary pathology and surgery, safety perception during hospital admission before and after surgery, and surgical outcomes. Anxiety was measured with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Descriptive statistics were computed on the different variables and data were stratified according to pathology (oncological vs nononcological). Three different models were used to investigate which variables had the greatest impact on anxiety, oncological patients, and safety perception, respectively. Because the variables (Xs) were of a different nature (qualitative and quantitative), mostly asymmetrical, and related to outcome (Y) by nonlinear relationships, a machine learning approach composed of three steps (1, random forest growing; 2, relative variable importance measure; and 3, partial dependence plots) was chosen.

Results: One hundred twenty-three patients from 10 different hospitals were included in the study. None of the patients developed COVID-19 after surgery. State and trait anxiety were reported by 30.3% and 18.9% of patients, respectively. Higher values of state anxiety were documented in oncological compared to nononcological patients (46.7% vs 25%; p = 0.055). Anxiety was strongly associated with worry about primary pathology, surgery, disease worsening, and with stress during waiting time, as expected. Worry about positivity to SARS-CoV-2, however, was the strongest factor associated with anxiety, even though none of the patients were infected. Neuro-oncological disease was associated with state anxiety and with worry about surgery and COVID-19. Increased bed distance and availability of hand sanitizer were associated with a feeling of safety.

Conclusions: These data underline the importance of psychological support, especially for neuro-oncological patients, during a pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.9.FOCUS20681DOI Listing
December 2020

Multiple Sclerosis Incidence and Prevalence Trends in the Province of Padua, Northeast Italy, 1965-2018.

Neuroepidemiology 2019 26;52(1-2):41-46. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

The Multiple Sclerosis Center of the Veneto Region, Department of Neurosciences, University of Padua, Padua, Italy,

Background: Previous studies, dating back to the 1960s disclosed a progressive increase in multiple sclerosis (MS) incidence and prevalence in the Province of Padua. To further analyze whether this trend is the effect of the improved diagnostic procedures or is primarily related to a real increase risk of MS, we analyzed MS incidence and prevalence of the 5-year period 2011-2015.

Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of MS or clinically isolated syndrome highly suggestive of MS were included in the study. All available sources of clinical and administrative information were evaluated. Mean annual incidence in the 5-year period 2011-2015 and the prevalence on December 31, 2015 were calculated.

Results: The 2011-2015 mean incidence was 6.5/100,000/year, 7.9 for females, 4.1 for males. The overall prevalence was 182/100,000, 241 for females, 116 for males. Compared to the 2000-2009 period, mean age at onset, onset-diagnosis delay and F/M ratio did not significantly change. Since the 1960s, incidence and prevalence of MS linearly increased with no interposed plateau periods.

Conclusions: MS incidence and prevalence further and significantly increased in the period 2011-2015. Our 1965-2015 data indicate a real increased risk of MS and stress a role of exogenous factors in MS susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000493857DOI Listing
December 2019