Dr Simona Foscarin
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.
fluorophore-assisted charbohydrate electrophoresis
Recombinant protein expression
Associated News Items
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
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
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
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