M Armogida

Università di Pisa, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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Publications (8)19.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The repeated finding of an apparent protective effect of cigarette smoking on the risk of Parkinson's disease is one of the few consistent results in the epidemiology of this disorder. Among the numerous substances that originate from tobacco smoke, nicotine is by far the most widely studied. Nicotine is a natural alkaloid that has considerable stimulatory effects on the CNS. Its effects on the CNS are mediated by the activation of neuronal heteromeric acetylcholine-gated ion channel receptors (nAChRs, also termed nicotinic acetylcholine receptors). In the present study, we describe the neuroprotective effects of (−)-nicotine in two animal models of parkinsonism: diethyldithiocarbamate-induced enhancement of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine toxicity in mice and methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity in rats and mice. The neuroprotective effect of (−)-nicotine was very similar to that of the noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist (+)-MK-801. In parallel experiments, we found that (−)-nicotine induces the basic fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor in rat striatum. The effect of (−)-nicotine on the induction of FGF-2 was prevented by the nAChR antagonist mecamylamine. We also found that (+)-MK-801 was able to induce FGF-2 in the striatum. As trophic factors have been reported to be neuroprotective for dopaminergic cells, our data suggest that the increase in neurotrophic factors is a possible mechanism by which (−)-nicotine protects from experimental parkinsonisms.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 11/2002; 71(6):2439 - 2446. · 3.97 Impact Factor
  • Advances in neurology 02/2001; 86:367-72.
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    ABSTRACT: An N-terminal dopamine D(2s) receptor clone was constructed and coexpressed in COS-7 cells together with a separate gene fragment coding for the C-terminal sequence of the dopamine D(2s) receptor. The truncated receptor (referred to as D(2trunc)) contained transmembrane domains I-V and the N-terminal portion of the third cytoplasmic loop, whereas the C-terminal receptor fragment (referred to as D(2tail)) contained transmembrane domains VI and VII and the adjacent intra- and extracellular sequences of the dopamine D(2s) receptor. Expression in COS-7 cells of either of these two polypeptides alone did not result in any detectable [3H]methylspiperone binding activity. However, specific [3H]methylspiperone binding could be observed after coexpression of the D(2trunc) and D(2tail) gene constructs; the number of receptors present on the plasma membrane was about 10% with respect to that of the wild type. The binding properties of the coexpressed fragments were similar to those of the wild-type dopamine D(2s) receptor for agonists and antagonists. Functional stimulation of the cotransfected D(2trunc) and D(2tail) fragments with quinpirole resulted in the inhibition of adenylate cyclase activity. Maximal inhibition corresponds to a 28% decrease in forskolin-stimulated adenylate cyclase. The apparent IC(50) of quinpirole was 5.1+/-0.3 mcM. These findings confirm and extend analogous data for other G protein-coupled receptors and indicate that this phenomenon is of general importance for the entire family of these proteins.
    European Journal of Pharmacology 07/2000; 397(2-3):291-6. · 2.59 Impact Factor
  • Pharmaceutica Acta Helvetiae 04/2000; 74(2-3):315-26.
  • Journal of Chromatography A 01/2000; 881(1). · 4.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apomorphine is a potent non selective agonist at the D1 and D2 dopamine receptors acting both pre- and post-synaptically. In this report we describe a novel function of apomorphine, independent from its dopaminergic activity. Apomorphine inhibits Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-K1 cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. The EC50 of apomorphine-induced inhibition of CHO-K1 cell proliferation determined by cell counting was 3.24 +/- 0.07 microM. Remarkably, the dose-response curve obtained by measuring the incorporation of [3H]thymidine was practically identical to the previous one giving an EC50 of 3.52 +/- 0.04 microM. The dopaminergic antagonists SCH23390 and spiperone at a concentration of 10 microM (well beyond their Kd values for the dopamine D1- and D2-like receptors respectively) were not able to antagonize the effect of apomorphine on CHO-K1 cell proliferation. Apomorphine exerts its effect early during incubation; CHO-K1 cells exposed to apomorphine for a period as short as 1 h and then allowed to grow for three days were significantly reduced in number with respect to untreated control cells. After four hours of exposition to apomorphine (10 microM) the antiproliferative effect was similar to that seen when this compound was present in the bath for all three days. Concentrations of apomorphine higher than 10 microM induced cell death, and the colony was completely destroyed at 50 microM. Cytometric analyses showed a significant accumulation of CHO-K1 cells in the G2/M phase.
    Journal of neural transmission. Supplementum 02/1999; 55:47-55. · 1.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies have shown a reduced incidence of cancer in Parkinson’s disease. Since nearly all parkinsonian patients with clinical impairment are treated with L-β-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) and dopamine (DA)ergic agonists, a possibility exists that these therapeutic agents can influence the risk of cancer. We studied the antiproliferative effect of these therapeutic agents (and substances structurally correlated) on Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-K1 cell growth. Among the compounds tested, apomorphine proved to be the most potent inhibitor of CHO-K1 cell growth, with an EC50 of 3.35 ± 0.12 μM. The apomorphine analogues, apocodeine and hydroxyethylnorapomorphine, were less active as inhibitors of CHO-K1 cell growth. The activity of DA, 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), phe-nylethylamine (PEA), L-DOPA and bromocriptine as antiproliferative was one order of magnitude lower than that of apomorphine while pergolide was ineffective. To test whether or not the oxidative potential of these compounds was important for their antiproliferative effect, several antioxidants were assayed. Among them, glutathione (GSH) and dithio-threitol (DTT) were effective in reversing the antiproliferative effect of apomorphine, DA, 6-OHDA and PEA, conversely they did not work with bromocriptine. GSH and DTT are sulphydryl-reducing agents; while their effect could explain the efficacy against apomorphine, DA and 6-OHDA, it is difficult to understand why they should have any effect on PEA as this substance does not react with sulphydryl groups. The oxidative potential as a mechanism of action was also questioned by the results obtained with dihydrorhodamine 123, a probe that changes its fluorescent emission wave when oxidized. None of the compounds, with the exception of 6-OHDA, had any effect on the fluorescent emission wave of the probe at the maximal concentrations used to inhibit CHO-K1 cell growth. At concentrations five times higher, apomorphine and DA generated reactive oxygen species but PEA and bromocriptine did not. These data demonstrate that the antiproliferative effect of these compounds is not due to their oxidative potential, but another mechanism must be postulated.
    Neurotoxicity Research 01/1999; 1(4):285-297. · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The repeated finding of an apparent protective effect of cigarette smoking on the risk of Parkinson's disease is one of the few consistent results in the epidemiology of this disorder. Among the numerous substances that originate from tobacco smoke, nicotine is by far the most widely studied. Nicotine is a natural alkaloid that has considerable stimulatory effects on the CNS. Its effects on the CNS are mediated by the activation of neuronal heteromeric acetylcholine-gated ion channel receptors (nAChRs, also termed nicotinic acetylcholine receptors). In the present study, we describe the neuroprotective effects of (-)-nicotine in two animal models of parkinsonism: diethyldithiocarbamate-induced enhancement of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine toxicity in mice and methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity in rats and mice. The neuroprotective effect of (-)-nicotine was very similar to that of the noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist (+)-MK-801. In parallel experiments, we found that (-)-nicotine induces the basic fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor in rat striatum. The effect of (-)-nicotine on the induction of FGF-2 was prevented by the nAChR antagonist mecamylamine. We also found that (+)-MK-801 was able to induce FGF-2 in the striatum. As trophic factors have been reported to be neuroprotective for dopaminergic cells, our data suggest that the increase in neurotrophic factors is a possible mechanism by which (-)-nicotine protects from experimental parkinsonisms.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 01/1999; 71(6):2439-46. · 3.97 Impact Factor