G Bernardi

Policlinico Tor Vergata, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (662)2719.6 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: • Striatal cAMP and cGMP are lower in levodopa dyskinesia• Amantadine prevents dyskinesia symptomatically improving cAMP and cGMP levels• Striatal cGMP-PDE but not cAMP-PDE activity increases in levodopa dyskinesia• These suggest reduced cAMP synthesis and increased cGMP catabolism in dyskinesia
    Neurochemistry International 10/2014; · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability of sodium valproate (800 mg/die) compared with placebo in medication-overuse headache patients with a history of migraine without aura. Methods This is a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study enrolled medication-overuse headache patients for a 3-month treatment period with sodium valproate (800 mg/day) or placebo after a 6 day outpatient detoxification regimen, followed by a 3-month follow-up. Primary outcome was defined by the proportion of patients achieving ≥50% reduction in the number of days with headache per month (responders) from the baseline to the last 4 weeks of the 3-month treatment. Multivariate logistic regression models were used on the primary endpoint, adjusting for age, sex, disease duration, comorbidity and surgery. The last-observation-carried-forward method was used to adjust for missing values. Results Nine sites enrolled 130 patients and, after a 6-day detoxification phase, randomized 88 eligible patients. The 3-month responder rate was higher in the sodium valproate (45.0%) than in the placebo arm (23.8%) with an absolute difference of about 20% (p=0.0431). Sodium valproate had safety and tolerability profiles comparable to placebo. Conclusions The present study supports the efficacy and safety of sodium valproate in the treatment of medication overuse headache with history of migraine after detoxification.
    European Neuropsychopharmacology 08/2014; · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 04/2014; · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rasagiline was administered in mild PD patients complaining for incomplete compensation of motor symptoms and bladder disturbances. Its urodynamic and motor effects were studied. Results demonstrated that rasagiline significantly ameliorated urodynamic and urologic questioner scores. We speculate that urinary effect was due to an increase of dopamine post-synaptic concentration at central level.
    Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 01/2014; · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with a massive loss of dopaminergic cells in the substantia nigra leading to dopamine hypofunction and alteration of the basal ganglia circuitry. These neurons, are under the control, among others, of the excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) systems. An imbalance between these systems may contribute to excitotoxicity and dopaminergic cell death. Neurosteroids, a group of steroid hormones synthesized in the brain, modulate the function of several neurotransmitter systems. The substantia nigra of the human brain expresses high concentrations of allopregnanolone (3α, 5αtetrahydroprogesterone), a neurosteroid that positively modulates the action of GABA at GABAA receptors and of 5α dehydroprogesterone, a neurosteroid acting at the genomic level. This article reviews the roles of NS acting as neuroprotectants and as GABAA receptor agonists in the physiology and pathophysiology of the basal ganglia, their impact on dopaminergic cell activity and survival, and potential therapeutic application in PD.
    Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology 04/2013; · 7.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormal use-dependent synaptic plasticity is universally accepted as the main physiological correlate of memory deficits in neurodegenerative disorders. It is unclear whether synaptic plasticity deficits take place during neuroinflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and its mouse model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In EAE mice, we found significant alterations of synaptic plasticity rules in the hippocampus. When compared to control mice, in fact, hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) induction was favored over long-term depression (LTD) in EAE, as shown by a significant rightward shift in the frequency-synaptic response function. Notably, LTP induction was also enhanced in hippocampal slices from control mice following interleukin-1β (IL-1β) perfusion, and both EAE and IL-1β inhibited GABAergic spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSC) without affecting glutamatergic transmission and AMPA/NMDA ratio. EAE was also associated with selective loss of GABAergic interneurons and with reduced gamma-frequency oscillations in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, we provided evidence that microglial activation in the EAE hippocampus was associated with IL-1β expression, and hippocampal slices from control mice incubated with activated microglia displayed alterations of GABAergic transmission similar to those seen in EAE brains, through a mechanism dependent on enhanced IL-1β signaling. These data may yield novel insights into the basis of cognitive deficits in EAE and possibly of MS.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e54666. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of huntingtin-mediated BDNF gene transcription has been shown to occur in HD and thus contribute to the degeneration of the striatum. Several studies have indicated that an increase in BDNF levels is associated with neuroprotection and amelioration of neurological signs in animal models of HD. In a recent study, an increase in BDNF mRNA and protein levels was recorded in mice administered recombinant BDNF peripherally. Chronic, indwelling osmotic mini-pumps containing either recombinant BDNF or saline were surgically placed in R6/2 or wild-type mice from 4 weeks of age until euthanasia. Neurological evaluation (paw clasping, rotarod performance, locomotor activity in an open field) was performed. After transcardial perfusion, histological and immunohistochemical studies were performed. We found that BDNF- treated R6/2 mice survived longer and displayed less severe signs of neurological dysfunction than the vehicle treated ones. Primary outcome measures such as brain volume, striatal atrophy, size and morphology of striatal neurons, neuronal intranuclear inclusions and microglial reaction confirmed a neuroprotective effect of the compound. BDNF was effective in increasing significantly the levels of activated CREB and of BDNF the striatal spiny neurons. Moreover, systemically administered BDNF increased the synthesis of BDNF as demonstrated by RT-PCR, and this might account for the beneficial effects observed in this model.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e64037. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Huntington's disease (HD) mutant huntingtin protein impairs the function of several transcription factors, in particular the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). CREB activation can be increased by targeting phosphodiesterases such as phospohodiesterase 4 (PDE4) and phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A). Indeed, both PDE4 inhibition (DeMarch et al, 2008) and PDE10A inhibition (Giampà et al, 2010) proved beneficial in the R6/2 mouse model of HD. However, Hebb et al (2004) reported that PDE10A decline in R6/2 mice. These findings raise the issue of how PDE10A inhibition is beneficial in HD if such enzyme is lost. R6/2 mice and their wild type littermates were treated with the PDE10A inhibitor TP10 (a gift from Pfizer) or saline, sacrificed at 5, 9, 13 weeks of age, and single and double label immunohistochemistry and western blotting were performed.
PDE10A increased dramatically in the spiny neurons of R6/2 compared to the wild type mice. Conversely, in the striatal cholinergic interneurons, PDE10A was lower and it did not change significantly with disease progression. In the other subsets of striatal interneurons (namely, parvalbuminergic, somatostatinergic, and calretininergic interneurons) PDE10A immunoreactivity was higher in the R6/2 compared to the wild-type mice. In the TP10 treated R6/2, PDE10A levels were lower than in the saline treated mice in the medium spiny neurons, whereas they were higher in all subsets of striatal interneurons except for the cholinergic ones. However, in the whole striatum densitometry studies, PDE10A immunoreactivity was lower in the R6/2 compared to the wild-type mice. Our study demonstrates that PDE10A is increased in the spiny neurons of R6/2 mice striatum. Thus, the accumulation of PDE10A in the striatal projection neurons, by hydrolyzing greater amounts of cyclic nucleotides, is likely to contribute to cell damage in HD. Consequently, the beneficial effect of TP10 in HD models (Giampà et al, 2009, 2010) is explained by the efficiency of such compound in counteracting this phenomenon and therefore increasing the availability of cyclic nucleotides.
    Neurobiology of Disease 12/2012; · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is involved in mood alterations associated with inflammatory illnesses and with stress. The synaptic basis of IL-1β-induced emotional disturbances is still unknown. To address the possible involvement of the endocannabinoid system in IL-1β-induced anxiety, we performed behavioral and neurophysiological studies in mice exposed to stress or to intracerebroventricular injections of this inflammatory cytokine or of its antagonist. We found that a single intracerebroventricular injection of IL-1β caused anxiety in mice, and abrogated the sensitivity of cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) controlling GABA synapses in the striatum. Identical behavioral and synaptic results were obtained following social defeat stress, and intracerebroventricular injection of IL-1 receptor antagonist reverted both effects. IL-1β-mediated inhibition of CB1R function was secondary to altered cholesterol composition within membrane lipid rafts, and required intact function of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel, another element of the endocannabinoid system. Membrane lipid raft disruption and inhibition of cholesterol synthesis, in fact, abrogated IL-1β-CB1R coupling, and TRPV1-/- mice were indeed insensitive to the synaptic and behavioral effects of both IL-1β and stress. On the other hand, cholesterol enrichment of striatal slices mimicked the synaptic effects of IL-1β on CB1Rs only in control mice, while the same treatment was ineffective in slices prepared from TRPV1-/- mice. The present investigation identifies a previously unrecognized interaction between a major proinflammatory cytokine and the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of anxiety.
    Journal of Neuroscience 10/2012; 32(40):13896-13905. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Projections from thalamic intralaminar nuclei convey sensory signals to striatal cholinergic interneurons. These neurons respond with a pause in their pacemaking activity, enabling synaptic integration with cortical inputs to medium spiny neurons (MSNs), thus playing a crucial role in motor function. In mice with the DYT1 dystonia mutation, stimulation of thalamostriatal axons, mimicking a response to salient events, evoked a shortened pause and triggered an abnormal spiking activity in interneurons. This altered pattern caused a significant rearrangement of the temporal sequence of synaptic activity mediated by M(1) and M(2) muscarinic receptors in MSNs, consisting of an increase in postsynaptic currents and a decrease of presynaptic inhibition, respectively. Consistent with a major role of acetylcholine, either lowering cholinergic tone or antagonizing postsynaptic M(1) muscarinic receptors normalized synaptic activity. Our data demonstrate an abnormal time window for synaptic integration between thalamostriatal and corticostriatal inputs, which might alter the action selection process, thereby predisposing DYT1 gene mutation carriers to develop dystonic movements.
    Journal of Neuroscience 08/2012; 32(35):11991-2004. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dysautonomia can occur in early stages of Parkinson's disease (PD) influencing tolerance to dopaminergic therapies. Rotigotine, a non-ergot dopamine agonist, has recently been developed as an effective alternative antiparkinsonian drug, but its influence on the autonomic nervous system was not investigated. Twenty subjects out of 34 consecutive de novo PD patients were submitted to full assessment of cardiovascular autonomic function before and after reaching a stable rotigotine regimen [6 mg/24 h (n = 3) or 8 mg/24 h (n = 17)]. Patients reached significant clinical improvement (-27% on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III) and did not show significant differences in cardiovascular tests compared to baseline data. However, an unexpected trend towards increasing systolic blood pressure after head-up tilt test was detected. Our study demonstrates that rotigotine does not influence cardiovascular autonomic responses in early de novo PD patients. Consequently, it may represent a well-tolerated and efficacious therapeutic option in newly diagnosed PD subjects.
    European Neurology 08/2012; 68(3):187-92. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in several brain functions ranging from emotions control, movement organization to memory formation. It is also involved in the regulation of mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. However, its role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis is still puzzling. Several recent line of research instead indicates a clear role for dopamine in both amyloid β formation as well as in cognitive decline progression. In particular it has been shown that dopamine D(2)-like receptors (namely D(3) and D(2)) could be mostly responsible for dopamine dysfunction in AD. Here we aimed to study the effects of the dopamine agonist Rotigotine on cortical excitability and on central cholinergic transmission in cases of AD. Rotigotine is a dopamine agonist with a pharmacological profile with high affinity for D(3) and D(2) receptors. We used paired pulse protocols assessing short intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF) to asses cortical excitability over the primary motor cortex and Short Latency Afferent Inhibition (SLAI) protocols, to verify the effects of the drug on central cholinergic transmission in a group of AD patients compared to age-matched controls. We observed that rotigotine induces unexpected changes in both cortical excitability (increased) and central cholinergic transmission (restored) of AD patients. These unexpected effects might depend on the dopamine D(2)-like receptors dysfunction previously described in AD brains. The current findings could indicate that future strategies aimed to ameliorate symptoms of the related AD cognitive decline could also involve some dopaminergic drugs. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'.
    Neuropharmacology 07/2012; 64(1):108-13. · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) causes a variety of motor and sensory deficits and it is also associated with mood disturbances. It is unclear if anxiety and depression in MS entirely reflect a subjective reaction to a chronic disease causing motor disability or rather depend on specific effects of neuroinflammation in neuronal circuits. To answer this question, behavioral, electrophysiological, and immunofluorescence experiments were performed in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), which models MS in mice. First, we observed high anxiety indexes in EAE mice, preceding the appearance of motor defects. Then, we demonstrated that tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) has a crucial role in anxiety associated with neuroinflammation. In fact, intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of etanercept, an inhibitor of TNF-α signaling, resulted in anxiolytic-like effects in EAE-mice. Accordingly, icv injection of TNF-α induced per se overt anxious behavior in control mice. Moreover, we propose the striatum as one of the brain regions potentially involved in EAE anxious behavior. We observed that before disease onset EAE striatum presents elevated TNF-α levels and strong activated microglia, early signs of inflammation associated with alterations of striatal excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Interestingly, etanercept corrected the synaptic defects of pre-symptomatic EAE mice while icv injection of TNF-α in non-EAE mice altered EPSCs, thus mimicking the synaptic effects of EAE. In conclusion, anxiety characterizes EAE course since the very early phases of the disease. TNF-α released from activated microglia mediates this effect likely through the modulation of striatal excitatory synaptic transmission.
    Experimental Neurology. 07/2012; 237(2):296-303.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients discontinuing natalizumab are at risk of rebound of disease activity. METHODS: In the present multi-center, open-label, non-randomized, prospective, pilot study, we tested whether treatment with glatiramer acetate (GA) is safe and effective after natalizumab in MS patients. The study was performed at academic tertiary medical centers. Forty active relapsing-remitting MS patients who never failed GA therapy and who discontinued natalizumab after 12-18 months of therapy were enrolled. GA was initiated 4 weeks after the last dose of natalizumab. RESULTS: 62.5% of patients were relapse-free 12 months after GA initiation. Annualized relapse rate and time to relapse were significantly lower than before natalizumab. Notably, the frequency of relapses was significantly lower amongst those patients who had experienced ≤2 relapses the year before initiation of natalizumab therapy, compared with patients who had had three or more relapses. No evidence of rebound was observed in MRI scans. Furthermore, EDSS and MSFC were stable in our patients, again suggesting that 12 months of post-natalizumab-GA therapy is not associated with clinical deterioration. CONCLUSIONS: Following discontinuation of natalizumab, twelve-month therapy with GA is safe and well tolerated in MS patients. GA can reduce the risk of early reactivation/rebound of disease activity in this setting.
    European Journal of Neurology 06/2012; · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers are heterogeneous and instable compounds of variable molecular weight. Flow cytometry and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based methods allow the simultaneous detection of Aβ oligomers with low and high molecular weight in their native form. We evaluated whether an estimate of different species of Aβ oligomers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with or without dilution with RIPA buffer could be more useful in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than the measurement of Aβ42 monomers, total tau (t-tau), and phosphorylated tau (p-tau). Increased t-tau (p < 0.01) and p-tau (p < 0.01), and decreased Aβ42 (p < 0.01), were detected in the CSF of patients with AD (n = 46), compared to patients with other dementia (OD) (n = 35) or with other neurological disorders (OND) (n = 56). In native CSF (n = 137), the levels of Aβ oligomers were lower (p < 0.05) in AD than in OD and OND patients; in addition, the ratio Aβ oligomers/p-tau was lower in AD than in OD (p < 0.01) and OND (p < 0.05) patients, yielding a sensitivity of 75% and a specificity of 64%. However, in CSF diluted with RIPA (n = 30), Aβ oligomers appeared higher (p < 0.05) in AD than in OND patients, suggesting they become partially disaggregated and more easily detectable after RIPA. In conclusion, FRET analysis in native CSF is essential to correctly determine the composition of Aβ oligomers. In this experimental setting, the simultaneous estimate of low and high molecular weight Aβ oligomers is as useful as the other biomarkers in the diagnosis of AD. The low amount of Aβ oligomers detected in native CSF of AD may be inversely related to their levels in the brain, as occurs for Aβ monomers, representing a biomarker for the amyloid pathogenic cascade.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 06/2012; 31(4):865-78. · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients discontinuing natalizumab treatment are at risk of disease reactivation. No clinical or surrogate parameters exist to identify patients at risk of post-natalizumab MS reactivation.Objective: To determine the role of natalizumab-induced lymphocytosis and of Akt polymorphisms in disease reactivation after natalizumab discontinuation.Methods: Peripheral leukocyte count and composition were monitored in 93 MS patients during natalizumab treatment, and in 56 of these subjects who discontinued the treatment. Genetic variants of the anti-apoptotic protein Akt were determined in all subjects because natalizumab modulates the apoptotic pathway and lymphocyte survival is regulated by the apoptotic cascade.Results: Natalizumab-induced peripheral lymphocytosis protected from post-natalizumab MS reactivation. Subjects who relapsed or had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) worsening after treatment cessation, in fact, had milder peripheral lymphocyte increases during the treatment, largely caused by less marked T cell increase. Furthermore, subjects carrying a variant of the gene coding for Akt associated with reduced anti-apoptotic efficiency (rs2498804T) had lower lymphocytosis and higher risk of disease reactivation.Conclusion: This study identified one functionally meaningful genetic variant within the Akt signaling pathway that is associated with both lymphocyte count and composition alterations during natalizumab treatment, and with the risk of disease reactivation after natalizumab discontinuation.
    Multiple Sclerosis 05/2012; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormal glutamate-dependent synaptic excitation contributes to neuronal damage in multiple sclerosis (MS). Little is known about the involvement of the GABA system in this disorder. Here we found that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from MS patients with enhanced brain lesions on magnetic resonance imaging inhibited GABA transmission in mouse brain slices. Enhanced IL-1β neuronal action was responsible for this effect, because IL-1β receptor antagonist blocked, and exogenous IL-1β mimicked the synaptic effect of inflamed CSF. Our results provide evidence that focal inflammation in MS perturbs the cytokine milieu within the circulating CSF, resulting in diffuse GABAergic alteration in neurons.
    Multiple Sclerosis 03/2012; 18(11):1633-5. · 4.47 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

17k Citations
2,719.60 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Policlinico Tor Vergata
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1997–2014
    • Foundation Santa Lucia
      • • Laboratory of Experimental Neurology
      • • Laboratory of Neuroanatomy
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1984–2014
    • University of Rome Tor Vergata
      • • Dipartimento di Medicina dei Sistemi
      • • Dipartimento di Dirito Pubblico
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1996–2013
    • Sapienza University of Rome
      • Department of Experimental Medicine
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2012
    • Università degli Studi di Torino
      Torino, Piedmont, Italy
  • 2011
    • University of Auckland
      • Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
      Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
    • Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
      • Department of Basic and Applied Biology
      Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy
  • 2008–2011
    • Università degli Studi di Teramo
      • Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences
      Teramo, Abruzzo, Italy
  • 2003–2011
    • Università degli Studi di Perugia
      • • Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences
      • • Department of Medical and Surgical Specialities and Public Health
      Perugia, Umbria, Italy
    • INRCA Istituto Nazionale di Ricovero e Cura per Anziani
      Ancona, The Marches, Italy
    • CSU Mentor
      • Department of Neurology
      Long Beach, California, United States
  • 1995–2011
    • Istituto di Cura e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Basilicata
      Rionero in Vulture, Basilicate, Italy
    • Azienda Ospedaliera Fatebenefratelli e Oftalmico Milano
      Roma, Latium, Italy
    • Università degli Studi del Sannio
      Benevento, Campania, Italy
  • 2010
    • Università della Calabria
      Rende, Calabria, Italy
    • Biotecnologie Avanzate
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 1998–2008
    • Ospedale di San Raffaele Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
    • Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico San Raffaele Pisana
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1980–2008
    • Università degli Studi Europea di Roma
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2007
    • European Brain Research Institute
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2006
    • University of Florence
      • Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Psicologia, Area del Farmaco e Salute del Bambino
      Florence, Tuscany, Italy
    • University of Milan
      • Department of Pharmacological Sciences
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2005
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2002–2005
    • Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich
      • Department of Psychiatry
      München, Bavaria, Germany
    • CRO Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano
      Aviano, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
    • Università di Pisa
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2004
    • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
      New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
    • The University of Manchester
      Manchester, England, United Kingdom
    • Universita degli studi di Ferrara
      • Department of Morphology, Surgery and Experimental Medicine
      Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 2000
    • University of Greenwich
      • Department of Life & Sports Sciences
      London, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1993
    • Ospedale San Giovanni Calibita - Fatebenefratelli
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1991
    • Università degli Studi di Siena
      Siena, Tuscany, Italy
  • 1975
    • The American University of Rome
      Roma, Latium, Italy