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Baroncelli Laura

laura baroncelliSenior research scientist
Via Giuseppe Moruzzi, 1
56124 - Pisa
Tel 050-3153190
Fax 0503153220
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Neural plasticity in the adult brain

Research summary


The research activity of the laboratory is mainly focused on the central nervous system, in particular on the visual system, which is the premier model for studying experience-dependent plasticity processes and underlying molecular mechanisms. It is a source of great interest the development of experimental behavioral and pharmacological protocols aimed at enhancing neural plasticity in the adult brain and the evaluation of possible applications of these strategies for the treatment of aging-related damages and neurological disorders characterized by a reduction of brain plasticity, such as Down syndrome. Our approach relies on combining different behavioral, electrophysiological, anatomical and biochemical techniques. Recently, our interest extended to the field of brain neoplastic pathologies, starting a new project in collaboration with other laboratories of CNR Neuroscience and Nanoscience Institute aimed at testing new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for glioblastoma.



Research’s Topics

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity
Novel therapeutic approaches for enhancing neuroplasticity in amblyopia
Down syndrome
Testing new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for glioblastoma


Representative publications

Begenisic T, Baroncelli L, Sansevero G, Milanese M, Bonifacino T, Bonanno G, Cioni G, Maffei L, Sale A. 2013.
Fluoxetine in adulthood normalizes GABA release and rescues hippocampal synaptic plasticity and spatial memory in a mouse model of Down Syndrome. Neurobiol Dis. [Epub ahead of print]
de Vivo L, Landi S, Panniello M, Baroncelli L, Chierzi S, Mariotti L, Spolidoro M, Pizzorusso T, Maffei L, Ratto GM. 2013. Extracellular matrix inhibits structural and functional plasticity of dendritic spines in the adult visual cortex.Nat Commun. 4:1484.
Baroncelli L, Bonaccorsi J, Milanese M, Bonifacino T, Giribaldi F, Manno I, Cenni MC, Berardi N, Bonanno G, Maffei L, Sale A. 2012. Enriched experience and recovery from amblyopia in adult rats: impact of motor, social and sensory components. Neuropharmacology. 62:2388-97.
Scali M, Baroncelli L, Cenni MC, Sale A, Maffei L. 2012. A rich environmental experience reactivates visual cortex plasticity in aged rats. Exp Gerontol. 47:337-41.
Begenisic T, Spolidoro M, Braschi C, Baroncelli L , Milanese M, Pietra G, Fabbri ME, Bonanno G, Cioni G, Maffei L, Sale A. 2011. Environmental enrichment decreases GABAergic inhibition and improves cognitive abilities, synaptic plasticity, and visual functions in a mouse model of Down syndrome. Front Cell Neurosci. 5:29-37.
Spolidoro M, Baroncelli L, Putignano E, Maya-Vetencourt JF, Viegi A, Maffei L. 2011. Food restriction enhances visual cortex plasticity in adulthood. Nat Commun. 2:320-7.
Baroncelli L, Sale A, Viegi A, Maya Vetencourt JF, De Pasquale R, Baldini S, Maffei L. 2010. Experience-dependent reactivation of ocular dominance plasticity in the adult visual cortex. Exp Neurol. 226:100-9.

Sale A, Maya Vetencourt JF, Medini P, Cenni MC, Baroncelli L, De Pasquale R, Maffei L. 2007. Environmental enrichment in adulthood promotes amblyopia recovery through a reduction of intracortical inhibition. Nat Neurosci. 10: 679-81.