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1.  The A3 Adenosine Receptor Mediates Cell Spreading, Reorganization of Actin Cytoskeleton, and Distribution of Bcl-xL: Studies in Human Astroglioma Cells 
The pathophysiological role of the adenosine A3 receptor in the central nervous system is largely unknown. We have investigated the effects of the selective A3 receptor agonist 2-chloro-N6-(3-iodobenzyl)-adenosine, Cl-IB-MECA, in cells of the astroglial lineage (human astrocytoma ADF cells). A marked reorganization of the cytoskeleton, with appearance of stress fibers and numerous cell protrusions, was found following exposure of cells to low (nM) concentrations of Cl-IB-MECA. These “trophic” effects were accompanied by induction of the expression of Rho, a small GTP-binding protein, which was virtually absent in control cells, and by changes of the intracellular distribution of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-xL, that, in agonist-exposed cells, became specifically associated to cell protrusions. This is the first demonstration that the intracellular organization of Bcl-xL can be modulated by the activation of a G-protein-coupled membrane receptor, such as the A3 adenosine receptor. Moreover, modulation of the astrocytic cytoskeleton by adenosine may have intriguing implications in both nervous system development and in the response of the brain to trauma and ischemia.
PMCID: PMC4248308  PMID: 9425266
2.  Neurabin: a key factor in the specific neuroprotection mediated by Adenosine 
Purinergic Signalling  2012;8(4):659-660.
PMCID: PMC3486166  PMID: 22992978
4.  Distribution of interleukin-1 receptor complex at the synaptic membrane driven by interleukin-1β and NMDA stimulation 
Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that contributes to neuronal injury in various degenerative diseases, and is therefore a potential therapeutic target. It exerts its biological effect by activating the interleukin-1 receptor type I (IL-1RI) and recruiting a signalling core complex consisting of the myeloid differentiation primary response protein 88 (MyD88) and the IL-1R accessory protein (IL-1RAcP). This pathway has been clearly described in the peripheral immune system, but only scattered information is available concerning the molecular composition and distribution of its members in neuronal cells. The findings of this study show that IL-1RI and its accessory proteins MyD88 and IL-1RAcP are differently distributed in the hippocampus and in the subcellular compartments of primary hippocampal neurons. In particular, only IL-1RI is enriched at synaptic sites, where it co-localises with, and binds to the GluN2B subunit of NMDA receptors. Furthermore, treatment with NMDA increases IL-1RI interaction with NMDA receptors, as well as the surface expression and localization of IL-1RI at synaptic membranes. IL-1β also increases IL-1RI levels at synaptic sites, without affecting the total amount of the receptor in the plasma membrane. Our results reveal for the first time the existence of a dynamic and functional interaction between NMDA receptor and IL-1RI systems that could provide a molecular basis for IL-1β as a neuromodulator in physiological and pathological events relying on NMDA receptor activation.
PMCID: PMC3045339  PMID: 21314939
5.  [alpha]-Secretase ADAM10 as well as [alpha]APPs is reduced in platelets and CSF of Alzheimer disease patients. 
Molecular Medicine  2002;8(2):67-74.
BACKGROUND: Members of membrane-bound disintegrin metalloproteinases (ADAMs) were shown to be capable of cleaving amyloid precursor protein (APP) at the alpha-cleavage site in different cell systems. One of the candidate alpha-secretases identified in this family is ADAM10. The present study addresses the following major questions: 1) Are the levels of an alpha-secretase candidate (i.e., ADAM10) reduced in accessible cells of Alzheimer Disease (AD) patients? 2) Are ADAM10 levels in the peripheral cells of AD patients related to a concomitant decrease in alpha APPs? MATERIALS AND METHODS: Western Blot analysis of ADAM10 is performed on platelet homogenates from 33 sporadic AD patients and on 26 age-matched control subjects. Moreover, the levels of alpha-secretase metabolite (alpha APPs) are tested both in platelets and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of the same pool of subjects by means of Western blot with a specific antibody. RESULTS: A significant decrease of platelet ADAM10 levels is observed in patients affected by probable AD when compared to control subjects and this is paralleled by a reduced level of alpha APPs released from platelets. Moreover, in the same pool of AD patients, alpha APPs levels were reduced concomitantly in CSF. CONCLUSIONS: ADAM10 is expressed in platelets. A reduced level of ADAM10 is observed in platelets obtained from AD patients compared to age-matched controls. Further, in the same pool of AD patients, a qualitatively and quantitatively similar decrease in alpha APPs is present both in thrombin-activated platelets and CSF, thus suggesting that alterations of APP processing might occur both in the neuronal compartment and peripheral cells.
PMCID: PMC2039975  PMID: 12080182

Results 1-5 (5)