Marianna Crispino

Professor of Physiology

Name Marianna
Surname Crispino
Institution University of Naples – Federico II
Telephone +39 081 235 5079
Address Department of Biology, University of Naples Federico II, Via Cinthia, 80126, Naples, Italy
Marianna Crispino


  • Long Feeding High-Fat Diet Induces Hypothalamic Oxidative Stress and Inflammation, and Prolonged Hypothalamic AMPK Activation in Rat Animal Model.

    Publication Date: 06/07/2018 on Frontiers in physiology
    by Cavaliere G, Viggiano E, Trinchese G, De Filippo C, Messina A, Monda V, Valenzano A, Cincione RI, Zammit C, Cimmino F, Catapano A, Sessa F, Messina G, Monda M, Crispino M, Mollica MP
    DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00818

    The hypothalamus is a key brain region involved in the control of feeding and energy expenditure. Hypothalamic inflammation and oxidative stress are landmarks of both obesity and aging processes, although the molecular mechanisms are still unknown. Therefore, with the aim to understand the neurobiological mechanisms of energy homeostasis during aging, we evaluate the effects of long feeding high-fat diet (HFD) in rats, at different age, on modulation of hypothalamic molecular pathway, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Male Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control group, receiving standard diet (CD), and treated group, receiving HFD. Both groups were treated with the appropriate diet for 1, 3, 6, 12, or 18 weeks. We investigated energy balance and body composition, as well as lipid profile, homeostatic model assessment index, and inflammatory state in serum. Furthermore, we also analyzed, at hypothalamic level, inflammation and oxidative stress, and adenosine monophosphate-dependent kinase (AMPK) and pAMPK expression levels. Our data showed that aging and HFD induce increased energy intake and energy efficiency and decreased energy expenditure associated, at hypothalamic level, with inflammation and oxidative stress and activation of AMPK. Our results indicate that the age at which HFD feeding starts and the diet duration are critical in obesity development. The prolonged activation of hypothalamic AMPK may be related to the alterations in energy homeostasis.

  • DNA in Squid Synaptosomes.

    Publication Date: 19/04/2018 on Molecular neurobiology
    by Cefaliello C, Prisco M, Crispino M, Giuditta A
    DOI: 10.1007/s12035-018-1071-3

    The synthesis of brain metabolic DNA (BMD) is modulated by learning and circadian oscillations and is not involved in cell division or DNA repair. Data from rats have highlighted its prevalent association with the mitochondrial fraction and its lack of identity with mtDNA. These features suggested that BMD could be localized in synaptosomes that are the major contaminants of brain mitochondrial fractions. The hypothesis has been examined by immunochemical analyses of the large synaptosomes of squid optic lobes that are readily prepared and identified. Optic lobe slices were incubated with 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and the isolated synaptosomal fraction was exposed to the green fluorescent anti-BrdU antibody. This procedure revealed that newly synthesized BrdU-labeled BMD is present in a significant percent of the large synaptosomes derived from the nerve terminals of retinal photoreceptor neurons and in synaptosomal bodies of smaller size. Synaptosomal BMD synthesis was strongly inhibited by actinomycin D. In addition, treatment of the synaptosomal fraction with Hoechst 33258, a blue fluorescent dye specific for dsDNA, indicated that native DNA was present in all synaptosomes. The possible role of synaptic BMD is briefly discussed.

  • Human Milk and Donkey Milk, Compared to Cow Milk, Reduce Inflammatory Mediators and Modulate Glucose and Lipid Metabolism, Acting on Mitochondrial Function and Oleylethanolamide Levels in Rat Skeletal Muscle.

    Publication Date: 30/01/2018 on Frontiers in physiology
    by Trinchese G, Cavaliere G, De Filippo C, Aceto S, Prisco M, Chun JT, Penna E, Negri R, Muredda L, Demurtas A, Banni S, Berni-Canani R, Mattace Raso G, Calignano A, Meli R, Greco L, Crispino M, Mollica MP
    DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00032

    Milk from various species differs in nutrient composition. In particular, human milk (HM) and donkey milk (DM) are characterized by a relative high level of triacylglycerol enriched in palmitic acid in sn-2 position. These dietary fats seem to exert beneficial nutritional properties through N-acylethanolamine tissue modulation. The aim of this study is to compare the effects of cow milk (CM), DM, and HM on inflammation and glucose and lipid metabolism, focusing on mitochondrial function, efficiency, and dynamics in skeletal muscle, which is the major determinant of resting metabolic rate. Moreover, we also evaluated the levels of endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines in liver and skeletal muscle, since tissue fatty acid profiles can be modulated by nutrient intervention. To this aim, rats were fed with CM, DM, or HM for 4 weeks. Then, glucose tolerance and insulin resistance were analyzed. Pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines were evaluated in serum and skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle was also processed to estimate mitochondrial function, efficiency, and dynamics, oxidative stress, and antioxidant/detoxifying enzyme activities. Fatty acid profiles, endocannabinoids, and N-acylethanolamine congeners were determined in liver and skeletal muscle tissue. We demonstrated that DM or HM administration reducing inflammation status, improves glucose disposal and insulin resistance and reduces lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle. Moreover, HM or DM administration increases redox status, and mitochondrial uncoupling, affecting mitochondrial dynamics in the skeletal muscle. Interestingly, HM and DM supplementation increase liver and muscle levels of the N-oleoylethanolamine (OEA), a key regulator of lipid metabolism and inflammation. HM and DM have a healthy nutritional effect, acting on inflammatory factors and glucose and lipid metabolism. This beneficial effect is associated to a modulation of mitochondrial function, efficiency, and dynamics and to an increase of OEA levels in skeletal muscle.

  • Information content of dendritic spines after motor learning.

    Publication Date: 15/01/2018 on Behavioural brain research
    by Viggiano D, Speranza L, Crispino M, Bellenchi GC, di Porzio U, Iemolo A, De Leonibus E, Volpicelli F, Perrone-Capano C
    DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2017.09.020

    Dendritic spines, small protrusions emerging from the dendrites of most excitatory synapses in the mammalian brain, are highly dynamic structures and their shape and number is continuously modulated by memory formation and other adaptive changes of the brain. In this study, using a behavioral paradigm of motor learning, we applied the non-linear analysis of dendritic spines to study spine complexity along dendrites of cortical and subcortical neural systems, such as the basal ganglia, that sustain important motor learning processes. We show that, after learning, the spine organization has greater complexity, as indexed by the maximum Lyapunov exponent (LyE). The positive value of the exponent demonstrates that the system is chaotic, while recurrence plots show that the system is not simply composed by random noise, but displays quasi-periodic behavior. The increase in the maximum LyE and in the system entropy after learning was confirmed by the modification of the reconstructed trajectories in phase-space. Our results suggest that the remodeling of spines, as a result of a chaotic and non-random dynamical process along dendrites, may be a general feature associated with the structural plasticity underlying processes such as long-term memory maintenance. Furthermore, this work indicates that the non-linear method is a very useful tool to allow the detection of subtle stimulus-induced changes in dendritic spine dynamics, giving a key contribution to the study of the relationship between structure and function of spines.

  • Milk from cows fed a diet with a high forage:concentrate ratio improves inflammatory state, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial function in rats.

    Publication Date: 28/12/2017 on Journal of dairy science
    by Cavaliere G, Trinchese G, Musco N, Infascelli F, De Filippo C, Mastellone V, Morittu VM, Lombardi P, Tudisco R, Grossi M, Monda V, Cutrignelli MI, Messina A, Calabrò S, Moni HB, Stradella L, Messina G, Monda M, Crispino M, Mollica MP
    DOI: 10.3168/jds.2017-13550

    Excessive energy intake may evoke complex biochemical processes characterized by inflammation, oxidative stress, and impairment of mitochondrial function that represent the main factors underlying noncommunicable diseases. Because cow milk is widely used for human nutrition and in food industry processing, the nutritional quality of milk is of special interest with respect to human health. In our study, we analyzed milk produced by dairy cows fed a diet characterized by a high forage:concentrate ratio (high forage milk, HFM). In view of the low n-6:n-3 ratio and high content of conjugated linoleic acid of HFM, we studied the effects of this milk on lipid metabolism, inflammation, mitochondrial function, and oxidative stress in a rat model. To this end, we supplemented for 4 wk the diet of male Wistar rats with HFM and with an isocaloric amount (82 kJ, 22 mL/d) of milk obtained from cows fed a diet with low forage:concentrate ratio, and analyzed the metabolic parameters of the animals. Our results indicate that HFM may positively affect lipid metabolism, leptin:adiponectin ratio, inflammation, mitochondrial function, and oxidative stress, providing the first evidence of the beneficial effects of HFM on rat metabolism.

  • Squid Giant Axons Synthesize NF Proteins.

    Publication Date: 02/05/2017 on Molecular neurobiology
    by Crispino M, Chun JT, Giuditta A
    DOI: 10.1007/s12035-017-0561-z

    Squid giant axon has been an excellent model system for studying fundamental topics in neurobiology such as neuronal signaling. It has been also useful in addressing the questions of local protein synthesis in the axons. Incubation of isolated squid giant axons with [(35)S]methionine followed by immunoprecipitation with a rabbit antibody against all squid neurofilament (NF) proteins demonstrates the local synthesis of a major 180 kDa NF protein and of several NF proteins of lower molecular weights. Their identification as NF proteins is based on their absence in the preimmune precipitates. Immunoprecipitates washed with more stringent buffers confirmed these results. Our data are at variance with a recent study based on the same experimental procedure that failed to visualize the local synthesis of NF proteins by the giant axon and thereby suggested their exclusive derivation from nerve cell bodies (as reported by Gainer et al. in Cell Mol Neurobiol 37:475-486, 2017). By reviewing the pertinent literature, we confute the claims that mRNA translation is absent in mature axons because of a putative translation block and that most proteins of mature axons are synthesized in the surrounding glial cells. Given the intrinsic axonal capacity to synthesize proteins, we stress the glial derivation of axonal and presynaptic RNAs and the related proposal that these neuronal domains are endowed with largely independent gene expression systems (as reported by Giuditta et al. in Physiol Rev 88:515-555, 2008).

  • Butyrate Regulates Liver Mitochondrial Function, Efficiency, and Dynamic, in Insulin Resistant Obese Mice.

    Publication Date: 21/02/2017 on Diabetes
    by Mollica MP, Raso GM, Cavaliere G, Trinchese G, De Filippo C, Aceto S, Prisco M, Pirozzi C, Di Guida F, Lama A, Crispino M, Tronino D, Di Vaio P, Canani RB, Calignano A, Meli R
    DOI: 10.2337/db16-0924

    Fatty liver, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction are key pathophysiological features of insulin resistance and obesity. Butyrate, produced by fermentation in the large intestine by gut microbiota, and its synthetic derivative, the N-(1-carbamoyl-2-phenyl-ethyl) butyramide, FBA, have been demonstrated to be protective against insulin resistance and fatty liver.Here, hepatic mitochondria were identified as the main target of the beneficial effect of both butyrate-based compounds in reverting insulin resistance and fat accumulation in diet induced obese mice. In particular, butyrate and FBA improved respiratory capacity and fatty acid oxidation, activating AMPK-ACC pathway, and promoted inefficient metabolism, as shown by the increase in proton leak. Consistently, both treatments increase utilization of substrates, especially fatty acids, leading to the reduction of intracellular lipid accumulation and oxidative stress. Finally, the shift of mitochondrial dynamic toward fusion by butyrate and FBA resulting in the improvement not only of mitochondrial cell energy metabolism but also of glucose homeostasis.In conclusion, butyrate and its more palatable synthetic derivative, FBA, modulating mitochondrial function, efficiency and dynamic, can be considered a new therapeutic strategy to counteract obesity and insulin resistance.

  • Effects of an High-Fat Diet Enriched in Lard or in Fish Oil on the Hypothalamic Amp-Activated Protein Kinase and Inflammatory Mediators.

    Publication Date: 09/06/2016 on Frontiers in cellular neuroscience
    by Viggiano E, Mollica MP, Lionetti L, Cavaliere G, Trinchese G, De Filippo C, Chieffi S, Gaita M, Barletta A, De Luca B, Crispino M, Monda M
    DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2016.00150

    The high fat diet (HFD) rich in lard induces obesity, inflammation and oxidative stress, and the deregulation of hypothalamic nuclei plays an important role in this mechanism. One important factor involved in the food intake and inflammation is adenosine monophosphate-dependent kinase (AMPK), a serine/threonine kinase activated by phosphorylation. Omega (ω)3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are dietary compounds known to attenuate the obesity-related diseases, although the molecular mechanisms underlying their actions in the hypothalamus are not completely understood. We hypothesized that the beneficial effects of PUFA may be mediated by AMPK in the hypothalamus. To this aim, rats were fed a control diet (CD), or isocaloric HFD containing either fish oil (FD; rich in ω3-PUFA) or lard for 6 weeks, and the activation of AMPK, inflammatory state (IKKβ, TNF-α) and oxidative stress were analyzed in the hypothalamus. In addition, we also studied serum lipid profile, homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) index, and pro-inflammatory parameters. Our results showed, at the hypothalamic level of LD-fed rats, an increase of AMPK activation, inflammation and oxidative stress, while no modifications were detected in FD-fed animals compared to CD. In addition body weight gain, serum lipid profile, pro-inflammatory parameters and insulin resistance were reduced in FD animals compared to LD. In conclusion, our data indicate that the substitution of saturated by unsaturated fatty acids in the diet has beneficial effects on modulation of hypothalamic inflammation and function in obesity, underlying, at hypothalamic level, the interaction among insulin and/or leptin resistance, AMPK activation and hyperphagia.

  • Epithelioid angiosarcoma arising in schwannoma of the kidney: report of the first case and review of the literature.

    Publication Date: 03/02/2016 on World journal of surgical oncology
    by Iannaci G, Crispino M, Cifarelli P, Montella M, Panarese I, Ronchi A, Russo R, Tremiterra G, Luise R, Sapere P
    DOI: 10.1186/s12957-016-0789-5

    Schwannoma and angiosarcoma are infrequent pathologies that have been rarely reported in the kidney. Angiosarcoma is an uncommon malignant tumor presenting a recognizable vascular differentiation. It can develop in any site but the most common locations include the skin, soft tissues, breast, bone, liver, and spleen while renal localization has been very rarely reported in the literature. Schwannoma is a benign peripheral nerve sheath tumor composed of cells with the immunophenotype and ultrastructural features of differentiated Schwann cells. It has a wide anatomical distribution but the most frequent locations include subcutaneous tissues of the extremities and the head and neck region and the retroperitoneal and mediastinal soft tissues. The occurrence of an angiosarcoma in a pre-existing schwannoma is an extremely rare event with <20 cases reported in worldwide literature. In the present study, a renal case of angiosarcoma arising in schwannoma is presented with a detailed review of the pertinent literature.

  • High Fat Diet and Inflammation - Modulation of Haptoglobin Level in Rat Brain.

    Publication Date: 15/12/2015 on Frontiers in cellular neuroscience
    by Spagnuolo MS, Mollica MP, Maresca B, Cavaliere G, Cefaliello C, Trinchese G, Scudiero R, Crispino M, Cigliano L
    DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2015.00479

    Obesity and dietary fats are well known risk factors for the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. The analysis of specific markers, whose brain level can be affected by diet, might contribute to unveil the intersection between inflammation/obesity and neurodegeneration. Haptoglobin (Hpt) is an acute phase protein, which acts as antioxidant by binding free haemoglobin (Hb), thus neutralizing its pro-oxidative action. We previously demonstrated that Hpt plays critical functions in brain, modulating cholesterol trafficking in neuroblastoma cell lines, beta-amyloid (Aβ) uptake by astrocyte, and limiting Aβ toxicity on these cells. A major aim of this study was to evaluate whether a long term (12 or 24 weeks) high-fat diet (HFD) influences Hpt and Hb expression in rat hippocampus. We also assessed the development of obesity-induced inflammation by measuring hippocampal level of TNF-alpha, and the extent of protein oxidation by titrating nitro-tyrosine (N-Tyr). Hpt concentration was lower (p < 0.001) in hippocampus of HFD rats than in control animals, both in the 12 and in the 24 weeks fed groups. HFD was also associated in hippocampus with the increase of Hb level (p < 0.01), inflammation and protein oxidative modification, as evidenced by the increase in the concentration of TNF-alpha and nitro-tyrosine. In fact, TNF-alpha concentration was higher in rats receiving HFD for 12 (p < 0.01) or 24 weeks (p < 0.001) compared to those receiving the control diet. N-Tyr concentration was more elevated in hippocampus of HFD than in control rats in both 12 weeks (p = 0.04) and 24 weeks groups (p = 0.01), and a positive correlation between Hb and N-Tyr concentration was found in each group. Finally, we found that the treatment of the human glioblastoma-astrocytoma cell line U-87 MG with cholesterol and fatty acids, such as palmitic and linoleic acid, significantly impairs (p < 0.001) Hpt secretion in the extracellular compartment. We hypothesize that the HFD-dependent decrease of Hpt in hippocampus, as associated with Hb increase, might enhance the oxidative stress induced by free Hb. Altogether our data, identifying Hpt as a molecule modulated in the brain by dietary fats, may represent one of the first steps in the comprehension of the molecular mechanisms underlying the diet-related effects in the nervous system.