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


  • 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.

  • Activation of 5-HT7 receptor stimulates neurite elongation through mTOR, Cdc42 and actin filaments dynamics.

    Publication Date: 11/03/2015 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
    DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00062

    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.

  • Brain synaptosomes harbor more than one cytoplasmic system of protein synthesis.

    Publication Date: 01/11/2014 on Journal of neuroscience research
    by Cefaliello C, Eyman M, Melck D, De Stefano R, Ferrara E, Crispino M, Giuditta A
    DOI: 10.1002/jnr.23435

    Synaptosomal protein synthesis from rat brain is selectively increased by learning and is massively enhanced during the recovery period from brain ischemia. To lay the groundwork for identification of the involved synaptic elements, we examined the effects induced by varying the concentrations of extracellular cations and endogenous calcium. Most of the recorded rate response curves exhibited biphasic profiles that suggested the presence of more than one translation system. Because comparable profiles were obtained by fully inhibiting mitochondrial translation, the data indicated the involvement of cytoplasmic translation systems present in different synaptosomal classes. Their properties may be individually investigated by exploiting the partially inhibited conditions we have described. The identification of the synaptic elements from which they originated and their newly synthesized proteins will significantly expand our understanding of the synaptic contribution to brain plastic events.

  • The serotonin receptor 7 and the structural plasticity of brain circuits.

    Publication Date: 12/09/2014 on Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience
    by Volpicelli F, Speranza L, di Porzio U, Crispino M, Perrone-Capano C
    DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00318

    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.

  • Haptoglobin increases with age in rat hippocampus and modulates Apolipoprotein E mediated cholesterol trafficking in neuroblastoma cell lines.

    Publication Date: 05/08/2014 on Frontiers in cellular neuroscience
    by Spagnuolo MS, Maresca B, Mollica MP, Cavaliere G, Cefaliello C, Trinchese G, Esposito MG, Scudiero R, Crispino M, Abrescia P, Cigliano L
    DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00212

    Alteration in cholesterol metabolism has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders. Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is the major component of brain lipoproteins supporting cholesterol transport. We previously reported that the acute-phase protein Haptoglobin (Hpt) binds ApoE, and influences its function in blood cholesterol homeostasis. Major aim of this study was to investigate whether Hpt influences the mechanisms by which cholesterol is shuttled from astrocytes to neurons. In detail it was studied Hpt effect on ApoE-dependent cholesterol efflux from astrocytes and ApoE-mediated cholesterol incorporation in neurons. We report here that Hpt impairs ApoE-mediated cholesterol uptake in human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y, and limits the toxicity of a massive concentration of cholesterol for these cells, while it does not affect cholesterol efflux from the human glioblastoma-astrocytoma cell line U-87 MG. As aging is the most important non-genetic risk factor for various neurodegenerative disorders, and our results suggest that Hpt modulates ApoE functions, we evaluated the Hpt and ApoE expression profiles in cerebral cortex and hippocampus of adolescent (2 months), adult (5 and 8 months), and middle-aged (16 months) rats. Hpt mRNA level was higher in hippocampus of 8 and 16 month-old than in 2-month old rats (p < 0.05), and Hpt concentration increased with the age from adolescence to middle-age (p < 0.001). ApoE concentration, in hippocampus, was higher (p < 0.001) in 5 month-old rats compared to 2 month but did not further change with aging. No age-related changes of Hpt (protein and mRNA) were found in the cortex. Our results suggest that aging is associated with changes, particularly in the hippocampus, in the Hpt/ApoE ratio. Age-related changes in the concentration of Hpt were also found in human cerebrospinal fluids. The age-related changes might affect neuronal function and survival in brain, and have important implications in brain pathophysiology.

  • Local gene expression in nerve endings.

    Publication Date: 01/03/2014 on Developmental neurobiology
    by Crispino M, Chun JT, Cefaliello C, Perrone Capano C, Giuditta A
    DOI: 10.1002/dneu.22109

    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.

  • BAG3 mRNA is present in synaptosomal polysomes of rat brain.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2014 on Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)
    by Bruno AP, Cefaliello C, D'Auria R, Crispino M, Rosati A, Giuditta A, Nori SL
    DOI: 10.4161/cc.28655
  • The serotonin receptor 7 promotes neurite outgrowth via ERK and Cdk5 signaling pathways.

    Publication Date: 01/04/2013 on Neuropharmacology
    by Speranza L, Chambery A, Di Domenico M, Crispino M, Severino V, Volpicelli F, Leopoldo M, Bellenchi GC, di Porzio U, Perrone-Capano C
    DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.10.026

    Serotonergic neurotransmission is mediated by at least 14 subtypes of 5-HT receptors. Among these, the CNS serotonin receptor 7 (5-HTR7) is involved in diverse physiological processes. Here we show that treatment of murine striatal and cortical neuronal cultures with 5-HTR7 agonists (8-OH-DPAT and LP-211) significantly enhances neurite outgrowth. This effect is abolished by the selective 5-HTR7 antagonist SB-269970, by the ERK inhibitor U0126, by the cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) inhibitor roscovitine, as well as by cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein synthesis. These data indicate that 5-HTR7 activation stimulates extensive neurite elongation in CNS primary cultures, subserved by ERK and Cdk5 activation, and de novo protein synthesis. Two-dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis coupled to Western blot analyses reveals both qualitative and quantitative expression changes in selected cytoskeletal proteins, following treatment of striatal primary cultures with LP-211. In particular, the 34 kDa isoform of MAP1B is selectively expressed in stimulated cultures, consistent with a role of this protein in tubulin polymerization and neurite elongation. In summary, our results show that agonist-dependent activation of the endogenous 5-HTR7 in CNS neuronal primary cultures stimulates ERK- and Cdk5-dependent neurite outgrowth, sustained by modifications of cytoskeletal proteins. These data support the hypothesis that the 5-HTR7 might play a crucial role in shaping neuronal morphology and behaviorally relevant neuronal networks, paving the way to new approaches able to modulate CNS connectivity.

  • Training old rats selectively modulates synaptosomal protein synthesis.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2013 on Journal of neuroscience research
    by Eyman M, Cefaliello C, Mandile P, Piscopo S, Crispino M, Giuditta A
    DOI: 10.1002/jnr.23133

    We have previously shown that the local synthesis of two synaptic proteins of 66.5-kDa and 87.6-kDa is selectively enhanced in male adult rats trained for a two-way active avoidance task. We report here that a comparable but not identical response occurs in 2-year-old male rats trained for the same task. In the latter age group, the local synthesis of the 66.5-kDa protein markedly increases in cerebral cortex, brainstem, and cerebellum, with a somewhat lower increment in synthesis of the 87.6-kDa protein. On the other hand, the newly synthesized 87.6-kDa protein correlates with avoidances and escapes and inversely correlates with freezings in cerebral cortex and brainstem, whereas the correlations of the newly synthesized 66.5-kDa protein remain below significance. These correlative patterns are sharply at variance with those present in trained adult rats. Our data confirm that the local system of synaptic protein synthesis is selectively modulated by training and show that the synaptic response of old rats differs from that of adult rats as reflected in behavioral responses.