Dr Simona Foscarin

Interests

Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are specialized structures of the extracellular matrix that enwrap some neuronal population and modulate plasticity. PNNs are mainly composed by hyaluronan and chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs), link proteins and tenascin-R; moreover they can interact and modulate the function of many diffusible factors, e.g. semaphorins.

The aim is to shed light on how glycosaminoglycan chains on CSPGs influence plasticity by themselves and in combination with other molecules.The main approach is biochemical, but molecular and cellular biology and morphological analyses are also used.

The translational goal is to split inhibitory vs permissive functions of perineuronal CSPGs and selectively target the respective molecular counterparts, in order to enhance plasticity where needed but avoiding aberrant effects. This would lead to the development of new treatments for neuronal diseases and injuries.

Research Focus

Keywords

perineuronal nets

glycosaminoglycans

plasticity

extracellular matrix

CSPGs

Clinical conditions

Alzheimer's disease

Cognitive impairment

Dementia

Traumatic brain injury

Equipment

Cell culture

Confocal microscopy

Enzyme assays

Fluorescence microscopy

fluorophore-assisted charbohydrate electrophoresis

FPLC/HPLC

glycosaminoglycan extraction

Immunohistochemistry

Microscopy

Recombinant protein expression

Collaborators

Cambridge

James W. Fawcett

Jessica Kwok

International

Daniela Carulli Web: http://www.nico.ottolenghi.unito.it/index.p...

Ferdinando Rossi Web: http://www.nico.ottolenghi.unito.it/index.p...

Associated News Items


    Publications

    2013

    Carulli D, Foscarin S, Faralli A, Pajaj E, Rossi F (2013), “Modulation of semaphorin3A in perineuronal nets during structural plasticity in the adult cerebellum.” Mol Cell Neurosci 57C:10-22 Details

    2012

    Foscarin S, Rossi F, Carulli D (2012), “Influence of the environment on adult CNS plasticity and repair.” Cell Tissue Res 349(1):161-7 Details

    2011

    Carulli D, Foscarin S, Rossi F (2011), “Activity-dependent plasticity and gene expression modifications in the adult CNS.” Front Mol Neurosci 4:50 Details

    Foscarin S, Ponchione D, Pajaj E, Leto K, Gawlak M, Wilczynski GM, Rossi F, Carulli D (2011), “Experience-dependent plasticity and modulation of growth regulatory molecules at central synapses.” PLoS One 6(1):e16666 Details

    2009

    Foscarin S, Gianola S, Carulli D, Fazzari P, Mi S, Tamagnone L, Rossi F (2009), “Overexpression of GAP-43 modifies the distribution of the receptors for myelin-associated growth-inhibitory proteins in injured Purkinje axons.” Eur J Neurosci 30(10):1837-48 Details