on Reviews in the neurosciences
by Perrone-Capano C, Volpicelli F, di Porzio U
Music is a universal language, present in all human societies. It pervades the lives of most human beings and can recall memories and feelings of the past, can exert positive effects on our mood, can be strongly evocative and ignite intense emotions, and can establish or strengthen social bonds. In this review, we summarize the research and recent progress on the origins and neural substrates of human musicality as well as the changes in brain plasticity elicited by listening or performing music. Indeed, music improves performance in a number of cognitive tasks and may have beneficial effects on diseased brains. The emerging picture begins to unravel how and why particular brain circuits are affected by music. Numerous studies show that music affects emotions and mood, as it is strongly associated with the brain's reward system. We can therefore assume that an in-depth study of the relationship between music and the brain may help to shed light on how the mind works and how the emotions arise and may improve the methods of music-based rehabilitation for people with neurological disorders. However, many facets of the mind-music connection still remain to be explored and enlightened.
on Journal of neurochemistry
by Speranza L, Labus J, Volpicelli F, Guseva D, Lacivita E, Leopoldo M, Bellenchi GC, di Porzio U, Bijata M, Perrone-Capano C, Ponimaskin E
Precise control of dendritic spine density and synapse formation is critical for normal and pathological brain functions. Therefore, signaling pathways influencing dendrite outgrowth and remodeling remain a subject of extensive investigations. Here, we report that prolonged activation of the serotonin 5-HT7 receptor (5-HT7R) with selective agonist LP-211 promotes formation of dendritic spines and facilitates synaptogenesis in postnatal cortical and striatal neurons. Critical role of 5-HT7R in neuronal morphogenesis was confirmed by analysis of neurons isolated from 5-HT7R-deficient mice and by pharmacological inactivation of the receptor. Acute activation of 5-HT7R results in pronounced neurite elongation in postnatal striatal and cortical neurons, thus extending previous data on the morphogenic role of 5-HT7R in embryonic and hippocampal neurons. We also observed decreased number of spines in neurons with either genetically (i.e. 5-HT7R-knock-out) or pharmacologically (i.e. antagonist treatment) blocked 5-HT7R, suggesting that constitutive 5-HT7R activity is critically involved in the spinogenesis. Moreover, cyclin-dependent kinase 5 and small GTPase Cdc42 were identified as important downstream effectors mediating morphogenic effects of 5-HT7R in neurons. Altogether, our data suggest that the 5-HT7R-mediated structural reorganization during the postnatal development might have a crucial role for the development and plasticity of forebrain areas such as cortex and striatum, and thereby can be implicated in regulation of the higher cognitive functions. Read the Editorial Highlight for this article on doi: 10.1111/jnc.13981.
on European journal of medicinal chemistry
by Lacivita E, Podlewska S, Speranza L, Niso M, Satała G, Perrone R, Perrone-Capano C, Bojarski AJ, Leopoldo M
The 5-HT7 serotonin receptor is revealing a promising target for innovative therapeutic strategies of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we report the synthesis of thirty long-chain arylpiperazine analogs of the selective and brain penetrant 5-HT7 receptor agonist LP-211 (1) designed to enhance stability towards microsomal oxidative metabolism. Commonly used medicinal chemistry strategies were used (i.e., reduction of overall lipophilicity, introduction of electron-withdrawing groups, blocking of potential vulnerable sites of metabolism), and in vitro microsomal stability was tested. The data showed that the adopted design strategy does not directly translate into improvements in stability. Instead, the metabolic stability of the compounds was related to the presence of specific substituents in well-defined regions of the molecule. The collected data allowed for the construction of a machine learning model that, in a given chemical space, is able to describe and quantitatively predict the metabolic stability of the compounds. The majority of the synthesized compounds maintained high affinity for 5-HT7 receptors and showed selectivity towards 5-HT6 and dopamine D2 receptors and different selectivity for 5-HT1A and α1 adrenergic receptors. Compound 50 showed 3-fold higher in vitro stability towards oxidative metabolism than 1 and was able to stimulate neurite outgrowth in neuronal primary cultures through the 5-HT7 receptor in a shorter time and at a lower concentration than the agonist 1. A preliminary disposition study in mice revealed that compound 50 was metabolically stable and was able to pass the blood-brain barrier, thus representing a new tool for studying the pharmacotherapeutic potential of 5-HT7 receptor in vivo.
by Lippiello P, Hoxha E, Speranza L, Volpicelli F, Ferraro A, Leopoldo M, Lacivita E, Perrone-Capano C, Tempia F, Miniaci MC
The 5-HT7 receptor (5-HT7R) mediates important physiological effects of serotonin, such as memory and emotion, and is emerging as a therapeutic target for the treatment of cognitive disorders and depression. Although previous studies have revealed an expression of 5-HT7R in cerebellum, particularly at Purkinje cells, its functional role and signaling mechanisms have never been described. Using patch-clamp recordings in cerebellar slices of adult mice, we investigated the effects of a selective 5-HT7R agonist, LP-211, on the main plastic site of the cerebellar cortex, the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse. Here we show that 5-HT7R activation induces long-term depression of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse via a postsynaptic mechanism that involves the PKC-MAPK signaling pathway. Moreover, a 5-HT7R antagonist abolished the expression of PF-LTD, produced by pairing parallel fiber stimulation with Purkinje cell depolarization; whereas, application of a 5-HT7R agonist impaired LTP induced by 1 Hz parallel fiber stimulation. Our results indicate for the first time that 5-HT7R exerts a fine regulation of cerebellar bidirectional synaptic plasticity that might be involved in cognitive processes and neuropsychiatric disorders involving the cerebellum.
on BMC bioinformatics
by Vacca M, Tripathi KP, Speranza L, Aiese Cigliano R, Scalabrì F, Marracino F, Madonna M, Sanseverino W, Perrone-Capano C, Guarracino MR, D'Esposito M
Mecp2 null mice model Rett syndrome (RTT) a human neurological disorder affecting females after apparent normal pre- and peri-natal developmental periods. Neuroanatomical studies in cerebral cortex of RTT mouse models revealed delayed maturation of neuronal morphology and autonomous as well as non-cell autonomous reduction in dendritic complexity of postnatal cortical neurons. However, both morphometric parameters and high-resolution expression profile of cortical neurons at embryonic developmental stage have not yet been studied. Here we address these topics by using embryonic neuronal primary cultures from Mecp2 loss of function mouse model.
on Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience
by Perrone-Capano C, Adriani W
on Scientific reports
by Viggiano D, Srivastava DP, Speranza L, Perrone-Capano C, Bellenchi GC, di Porzio U, Buckley NJ
Spine motility analysis has become the mainstay for investigating synaptic plasticity but is limited in its versatility requiring complex, non automatized instrumentations. We describe an entropy-based method for determining the spatial distribution of dendritic spines that allows successful estimation of spine motility from still images. This method has the potential to extend the applicability of spine motility analysis to ex vivo preparations.
on Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience
by Speranza L, Giuliano T, Volpicelli F, De Stefano ME, Lombardi L, Chambery A, Lacivita E, Leopoldo M, Bellenchi GC, di Porzio U, Crispino M, Perrone-Capano C
Recent studies have indicated that the serotonin receptor subtype 7 (5-HT7R) plays a crucial role in shaping neuronal morphology during embryonic and early postnatal life. Here we show that pharmacological stimulation of 5-HT7R using a highly selective agonist, LP-211, enhances neurite outgrowth in neuronal primary cultures from the cortex, hippocampus and striatal complex of embryonic mouse brain, through multiple signal transduction pathways. All these signaling systems, involving mTOR, the Rho GTPase Cdc42, Cdk5, and ERK, are known to converge on the reorganization of cytoskeletal proteins that subserve neurite outgrowth. Indeed, our data indicate that neurite elongation stimulated by 5-HT7R is modulated by drugs affecting actin polymerization. In addition, we show, by 2D Western blot analyses, that treatment of neuronal cultures with LP-211 alters the expression profile of cofilin, an actin binding protein involved in microfilaments dynamics. Furthermore, by using microfluidic chambers that physically separate axons from the soma and dendrites, we demonstrate that agonist-dependent activation of 5-HT7R stimulates axonal elongation. Our results identify for the first time several signal transduction pathways, activated by stimulation of 5-HT7R, that converge to promote cytoskeleton reorganization and consequent modulation of axonal elongation. Therefore, the activation of 5-HT7R might represent one of the key elements regulating CNS connectivity and plasticity during development.
on Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience
by Volpicelli F, Speranza L, di Porzio U, Crispino M, Perrone-Capano C
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) modulates numerous physiological processes in the nervous system. Together with its function as neurotransmitter, 5-HT regulates neurite outgrowth, dendritic spine shape and density, growth cone motility and synapse formation during development. In the mammalian brain 5-HT innervation is virtually ubiquitous and the diversity and specificity of its signaling and function arise from at least 20 different receptors, grouped in 7 classes. Here we will focus on the role 5-HT7 receptor (5-HT7R) in the correct establishment of neuronal cytoarchitecture during development, as also suggested by its involvement in several neurodevelopmental disorders. The emerging picture shows that this receptor is a key player contributing not only to shape brain networks during development but also to remodel neuronal wiring in the mature brain, thus controlling cognitive and emotional responses. The activation of 5-HT7R might be one of the mechanisms underlying the ability of the CNS to respond to different stimuli by modulation of its circuit configuration.
on Developmental neurobiology
by Crispino M, Chun JT, Cefaliello C, Perrone Capano C, Giuditta A
At the Nobel lecture for physiology in 1906, Ramón y Cajal famously stated that "the nerve elements possess reciprocal relationships in contiguity but not in continuity," summing up the neuron doctrine. Sixty years later, by the time the central dogma of molecular biology formulated the axis of genetic information flow from DNA to mRNA, and then to protein, it became obvious that neurons with extensive ramifications and long axons inevitably incur an innate problem: how can the effect of gene expression be extended from the nucleus to the remote and specific sites of the cell periphery? The most straightforward solution would be to deliver soma-produced proteins to the target sites. The influential discovery of axoplasmic flow has supported this scheme of protein supply. Alternatively, mRNAs can be dispatched instead of protein, and translated locally at the strategic target sites. Over the past decades, such a local system of protein synthesis has been demonstrated in dendrites, axons, and presynaptic terminals. Moreover, the local protein synthesis in neurons might even involve intercellular trafficking of molecules. The innovative concept of glia-neuron unit suggests that the local protein synthesis in the axonal and presynaptic domain of mature neurons is sustained by a local supply of RNAs synthesized in the surrounding glial cells and transferred to these domains. Here, we have reviewed some of the evidence indicating the presence of a local system of protein synthesis in axon terminals, and have examined its regulation in various model systems.