NICO NeuroWebinar

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Event date: 29/01/2021


1 appointment per week, on Friday at 2.00 pm

29/1/21 - Progress report
Roberta Schellino (Group Vercelli)
It's never too late to run a Marathon: a novel biological to sustain muscle innervation and endurance in elderly

22/1/21 - Lecture
Luciano Conti, Associate Professor of Applied Biology
Dept of Cellular, Computational and Integrated Biology - CIBio, University of Trento, Italy

PSC-based models of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases

Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have revolutionized our ability to study human brain diseases, and recent progress in the field is paving the way for improved therapeutics. Here, I will present our optimized processes in generating hiPSC-derived neural progenitors and functional neuronal subtypes populations and how patient-specific hiPSC-derived neural cells can be used to model neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

webex link   Meeting code: 121 183 6694 | Password: JHxXPh2Jr4

Host: Annalisa Buffo

15/1/21 - Lecture
Federico Forneris (University of Pavia)
Molecular architectures, interactions and functions of neuromuscular synapse organizers

Host: Serena Stanga

8/1/21 - Progress report
Valentina Cerrato (Group Buffo)
Single-cell RNA Sequencing unveils an unprecedented molecular and functional heterogeneity of cerebellar astrocytes


18/12/20 - Progress report
Giorgia Iegiani (Group Di Cunto)
Citron Kinase modulates homologous recombination through microtubule dynamics

11/12/20 - Lecture
  Renaud Blaise Jolivet (University of Geneva, Department of Nuclear and Corpuscular Physics and Geneva Neuroscience Center)
A New type of Plasticity within Neuroglial Networks

Host: Corrado Calì

4/12/20 - Lecture
  Stefano Zucca (IIT, Genova) 
An inhibitory gate for State Transition in the Cortex

Host: Serena Bovetti

27/11/20 - Lecture
Luigia Pace ( Armenise-Harvard Immune Regulation Lab. -  IRCCS Candiolo) 
Epigenetic and transcriptional control during CD8+ T cell fate commitment
A single cell approach to understand cell heterogeneity

The adaptive immune responses mediated by T lymphocytes play a critical role in host protection against pathogens and malignant tumours. Following activation by antigens, naïve CD8+ T lymphocytes establish specific heritable gene expression programs that define the progression to long-lasting memory or to short-lived effector subsets.
We have examined CD8 + T cell heterogeneity during the different stages of differentiation, by developing an integrative approach involving the combined analysis of chromatin dynamic changes and gene expression profiles at single cell level. These results establish a transcriptional “map” during T cell lineage commitment, highlighting new interclonal relationships between different T subsets, during the different stages of differentiation. Recent results and new perspectives will be discussed in the context of long-term memory.

Host: Annalisa Buffo

20/11/20 - Progress report
Serena Stanga (Group Vercelli)
Mitochondrial morpho-functional dysfunctions in Spinal Muscular Atrophy: focus on Aconitase2

6/11/20 - Lecture  
Joao Filipe Oliveira (Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Medicine, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)
The involvement of astrocytes in cognitive processing

Astrocytes interact with neurons at the cellular level through modulation of synaptic formation, maturation, and function, however the impact of such interaction in circuit activity that results in behavior remains unclear. Here, we studied the mouse models with impaired exocytosis in astrocytes to dissect the role of astrocyte-derived signaling in cortico-hippocampal circuits, with implications for cognitive processing. We found that the blockade of gliotransmitter release in astrocytes triggers a critical desynchronization of neural theta oscillations between the dorsal hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Moreover, we found a strong cognitive impairment in tasks depending on this network. In this talk, I will discuss also further evidence suggesting the involvement of astrocyte-releasedsignals in mechanisms of long-distance network modulation, with direct implications to cognitive function.

Host: Corrado Calì


9/10/20 - Progress report
Ilaria Bertocchi (Group Eva)
Voltage-independent GluN2A-type NMDA receptor Ca2+ signaling promotes audiogenic seizures, attentional and cognitive deficits

16/10/20 - Lecture    - POSTPONED
  Paola Barbagallo (Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford)
Dissecting the contribution of dipeptide repeat proteins to the toxicity in C9orf72 mutant iPSC-derived motor neurons from ALS/FTD patients  

A large (GGGGCC) repeat expansion in C9orf72 gene is the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It causes both loss- and gain-of-function, but the relative contribution of thedifferent mechanisms to the development of ALS remains uncertain. One of the pathomechanisms is the production of dipeptide repeat proteins (PR, PA, GR, GP and GA) via repeat-associated non-ATG translation (DPRs). Animal and cellular models have suggested that the arginine-rich DPRsare toxic, but C9orf72 patients show that the same DPRs are not very abundant compared to GA, GP and PA. Moreover, the DPR-related phenotypes exhibited in in-vitro models are not always verified in C9orf72 patients. For these reasons we developed a doxycycline-inducible lentiviral system to regulate DPR expression in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived motor neuron (MN) cultures. The effects of GA and PR expression in CRISPR/Cas9 corrected C9orf72 iPSC-derived MNs were compared to the phenotypes of C9orf72 mutant lines. We found that poly(PR) expression interfered with ER calcium release from IP3R and reduced the maximal mitochondrial respiration. The latest effect may cause deficits to mitochondrial membrane potential, lowering the calcium buffering and enhancing the cellular sensitivity to oxidative stress.

Host: Annalisa Buffo

23/10/20 - Progress report
Serena Bovetti (Group Peretto)
Imaging the developing auditory cortex with two-photon and light-sheet microscopy

30/10/20 - Lecture    
  Roberta Magliozzi  (Univ. Verona)
Meningeal inflammation and grey matter pathology in multiple sclerosis

Host: Francesca Montarolo


04/09/20 - Progress report
Giulia Nato
Multistep transition of parenchymal astrocytes toward neurogenesis

18/09/20 - Progress report
Enrica Boda
Are oligodendrocyte progenitors all born equal? A lesson from a microcephaly model

25/09/20 - Lecture    
Luca Bartesaghi (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm)
Characterisation of the onset and progression of nervous system myelination in mice

Myelin is a spiral extension of the cell membrane of Schwann cells (SCs) in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and of oligodendrocytes (OLs) in the central nervous system (CNS) which insulate axons thus increasing the speed of propagation of action potentials. During the development of the nervous system, both OL and SC precursors follow a tightly controlled process of cellular differentiation in order to become myelinating glia. It is known that myelination in rodents starts at around birth in the PNS followed by the CNS; however the spatio-temporal aspect of this process remains to be clarified in both parts of the developing nervous system. We used the CLARITY technique in combination with light-sheet microscopy to follow the first steps of CNS myelination in brain and spinal cord. For PNS myelination, we chose as a model the sciatic nerve and the ventral (motor) and dorsal (sensory) roots that branch off the spinal cord from the transitional zone to generate the peripheral nerve. We concentrated on the late developmental stages (starting from E16.5) till early postnatal stages spanning the period of initiation of myelination in rodents. We detected the expression of myelin markers in both parts of the nervous system already at late embryonic stages, predominantly in the ventral side of the spinal cord in the CNS and in the ventral roots in the PNS. Interestingly, while our data indicate the existence of a rostro-caudal gradient during the onset of myelination along the spinal cord and in the roots, we failed to detect a gradient in progression of myelination along proximal (near spinal cord) to distal axis. Finally, we used an  ex-vivo  dorsal root ganglia neuron-SC co-culture approach based on compartmentalized microfluidic chambers in order to model the initiation and progression of PNS myelination. Both our  in vivo  and  in vitro  observations indicate that myelination starts in restricted anatomical areas and spreads quickly along axons. 

Host: Corrado Calì and Giovanna Gambarotta


3/07/20 - Lecture    
Giovanni Ferrara (San Martino Hospital, Genova)
Characterization of the possible role of specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) in the generation of immature/tolerogenic dendritic cells (DCs).
Host: Enrica Boda

10/07/20 - Progress report
Roberta Parolisi
Air pollution and Multiple Sclerosis. Role of particulate matter (PM) exposure in de- and remyelination

17/07/20 - Lecture
Dania Vecchia (IIT, Genova)
Temporal Sharpening of Sensory Responses by Layer V in the Mouse Primary Somatosensory Cortex   
Host: Serena Bovetti

24/07/20 - Progress report
Gianmarco Pallavicini
CIT kinase activity loss generates DNA damage in neural precursor

31/07/20 - Lecture    
  Stefano Angiari (Trinity College, Dublin)
Metabolic regulation of the immune response
Host: Enrica Boda


26/06/20 - Progress report
Daniela Rasà
Drug screening and drug repositioning as promising approaches for SMA treatments

19/06/20 - Lecture
Eleonora Vannini (CNR, Pisa) 
Synaptic vesicles dynamics in focal epilepsy 
Host: Enrica Boda

12/06/20 - Progress report
Marco Fogli
Transient neurogenic niches are generated by the sparse and asynchronous activation of striatal astrocytes after excitotoxic injury

5/06/20 - Lecture
Paolo Porporato (MBC - Torino) 
Altered iron metabolism controls muscle wasting and cachexia 
Host: Serena Stanga


29/05/20 - Progress Report
Sara Bonzano
Shedding light on mitochondria in adult neurogenesis: a role for the transcription factor COUP-TFI/Nr2f1

22/05/20 - Senior Lecture
Giovanna Gambarotta
Cells & factors involved in peripheral nerve regeneration

15/05/20 - Lecture
Pamela Imperadore (SZN)
Host: Marina Boido
Neural regeneration: tales from the octopus

08/05/20 -  Senior Lecture
  Luca Bonfanti
From adult neurogenesis to immature neurons: a 10.000 papers' Journal Club

06/05/20 - Lecture
Angelo Bifone  (University of Torino)
Host: Alessandro Vercelli 
Alcoholism and the insular cortex: insights from neuroimaging

04/05/20 - Lecture (III)
Serena Martire 
Correlation and linear regression


Progress Report  - Ilaria Balbo 
Spinocerebellar ataxia 38: role of Elovl5 in central and peripheral nervous system

27/04/20 - Lecture
  Ludovico Minati (CIMeC, University of Trento, Italy)
Across neurons and silicon: new bridges between biology and electronics

Abstract:   This talk will present how two seemingly distant topics, namely neuroscience and electronics, actually have a lot of points of contact and can inspire each other in unexpected ways. The main point is that many phenomena observed pervasively in neuroscience are actually universal and, as such, can also be easily observed in very simple electronic circuits, insofar as these are analog and nonlinear. For example, the generation of chaotic and spiking signals will be considered, together with the emergence of network-level properties such as a modular organization or small-world topology. Studying these phenomena in an electronic context can help to better understand how they arise in much larger biological networks, and how they malfunction in disease. At the same time, it might inspire potential new ways of implementing artificial intelligence in the future.

24/04/20 - Lecture
  Erica Staurenghi  (Dept. of Clinical and Biological Sciences, Univ. Torino)
Host: Annalisa Buffo 
Brain oxysterols in Alzheimer’s disease: could they contribute to neuronal damage by inducing astrocyte reactivity?

22/04/20 - ore 13:00
Senior Lecture  - Alessandro Vercelli
Supporting healthy ageing with information and communication technology and artificial intelligence

20/04/20 - Lecture
Serena Martire (II) 
Introduction to hypothesis testing

  Progress Report  - Isabella Crisci
A new perspective on Tamoxifen effect within the adult hippocampal neurogenic niche

15/04/20 - Lecture
  Pierre Magistretti , KAUST - King Abdullah University, Saudi Arabia
Host: Corrado Calì
Neuron-glia metabolic coupling: relevance for plasticity and neuroprotection

10/04/20 - Lecture
  Livio Oboti , PhD - Institut für Biologie Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Host: Silvia De Marchis
Corticofugal feedback circuits in the mouse vomeronasal system

  Progress Report  - Giacomo Carta
Neurodynamics from bedside to in-vitro to refine a basic diagnostic and therapeutic intervention

Progress Report  - Brigitta Bonaldo
Something unexpected: the effects of chronic treatment with BPA on pregnant adult female mice?

Barbara Magnani
Communication@NICO: istruzioni per l'uso


Progress Report  - Martina Lorenzati
c-Jun N-terminal Kinase 1 (JNK1) modulates OPC architecture, proliferation and myelination

Journal club  - Federico Luzzati
Glia Accumulate Evidence that Actions Are Futile and Suppress Unsuccessful Behavior

Senior Lecture  - Alessandro Vercelli
Development, morphology and connectivity of pyramidal neurons

Progress Report  - Francesca Montarolo
Effects of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors modulators on nuclear receptor NR4As: an in vitro study using human blood and brain-resident cells

  Senior Lecture  - Carola Eva
Conditional inactivation of Npy1r gene in mice induces sex-related differences of metabolic and behavioral functions

Progress Report  - Corrado Calì
3D-EM and Virtual Reality tools in Brain Metabolism

Progress Report  - Chiara la Rosa
“Immature” neurons in mammals: a “reservoir” of young neurons in large-sized brains?

Lecture  - Serena Martire
Biostatistics: Back to the Basics

Events & Meetings

29 january 2021
11 february 2021


Due to the COVID19 pandemic, the  11th International Meeting on Steroids and Nervous System and the associate   Satellite Symposium   have been moved to 2022 , but, in order not to totally miss our meeting, together with the Scientific Committee, we have decided to organize a virtual event that includes 5 plenary lectures, a series of short free communications presented by young researchers and also a poster exhibition.