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Pisanu Augusta

Research scientist
Cittadella Universitaria di Monserrato
S.S. 554, Km 4,5
09042 Monserrato (CA)
Tel 070-6758670
Fax 070-6754320
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Dopamine receptors and motivated behavior


Research summary

The currently ongoing research is focused on the role of D1 and D2 DA receptors in reinforced and motivated behaviors, through silencing these receptors by viral mediated RNAi in limbic regions, although in the recent past I have also been involved in Parkinson’s disease studies focused on evaluation of both anti-dyskinetic and neuroprotective properties of PPAR-gamma agonists.
Techniques currently used include (a) immunohistochemical analysis of dopamine and GABA neuronal markers, astrocyte and microglia markers and cytochines in tissue preparations; (b) rodent models of reinforced and motivated behavior and (c) in vivo microdialysis.


Representative publications

Pisanu A, Lecca D, Valentini V, Bahi A, Dreyer JL, Cacciapaglia F, Scifo A, Piras G, Cadoni C and Di Chiara G
Impairment of acquisition of intravenous cocaine self-administration by RNA-interference of dopamine D1-receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell. Neuropharmacology 2015; 89:398-411;

Pisanu A, Lecca D, Mulas G, Wardas J, Simbula G, Spiga S, Carta AR.
Dynamic changes in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in microglia after PPAR-γagonist neuroprotective treatment in the MPTPp mouse model of progressive Parkinson’s disease. Neurobiol Dis. 2014; 71:280-91.

Carta AR, Pisanu A.
Modulating microglia activity with PPAR-γagonists: a promising therapy for Parkinson's disease? Neurotox Res. 2013; 23(2):112-23.

Bimpisidis Z, De Luca MA, Pisanu A, Di Chiara G.
Lesion of medial prefrontal dopamine terminals abolishes habituation of accumbens shell dopamine responsiveness to taste stimuli. Eur J Neurosci. 2013; 37(4):613-22.

Carta AR, Frau L, Pisanu A, Wardas J, Spiga S, Carboni E.
Rosiglitazone decreases peroxisome proliferator receptor-γlevels in microglia and inhibits TNF-αproduction: new evidences on neuroprotection in a progressive Parkinson’s disease model. Neuroscience. 2011; 194:250-61.

Carta AR, Pisanu A, Carboni E.
Do PPAR-Gamma Agonists Have a Future in Parkinson's Disease Therapy? Parkinsons Dis. 2011; 2011:689181.

Acquas E., Pisanu A., Spiga S., Plumitallo A., Zernig G., and Chiara GD.
Differential effects of intravenous R,S-(+/-)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) and its S(+)- and R(-)-enantiomers on dopamine transmission and extracellular signal regulated kinase phosphorylation (pERK) in the rat nucleus accumbens shell and core. Journal of Neurochemistry 2007; 102(1):121-32.

Pisanu A., Acquas E., Fenu S., Di Chiara G..
Modulation of Δ9-THC-induced increase of cortical and hippocampal acetylcholine release by µ opioid and D1 dopamine receptors. Neuropharmacology: 2006; 50(6):661-70

Cadoni C., Solinas M., Pisanu A., Zernig. G., Acquas E., Di Chiara G..
Effect of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “ecstasy”) on dopamina transmission in the nucleus accumbens shell and core. Brain Research: 2005; 1055(1-2):143-148.

Cadoni C., Pisanu A., Solinas M., Acquas E., Di Chiara G..
Behavioural sensitization after repeated exposure to Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cross-sensitization with morphine. Psychopharmacology: 2001; 158(3):259-66.