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Maciocco Elisabetta

Cittadella Universitaria di Monserrato
S.S. 554, Km 4,5
09042 Monserrato (CA)
Tel 070-6754133-4049
Fax 070-6754320
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Neuronal plasticity in physiological and stressed conditions


Research summary

Neuronal plasticity, also know as neuroplasticity is the capability of the neurons to change, temporarily or permanently their morphological and functional characteristics.
This property allowed neurons to adapt their structural organization to new condition linked to changes in developmental and environmental situations.
In our laboratory we use histological, immunohistochemical and molecular biology techniques to understand synaptic plasticity in different physiological conditions related to reproduction and development and the mechanisms of action of ethanol and psychodrugs.

Research’s Topics

Effect of maternal care and social enrichment on brain development (A biennal 2013-2015 project, granted by legge-7 Sardinian Governement)

Effect of substances of abuse, psychoactive drugs, stress and maternal care on brain development and vulnerability to psychopathology (PRIN 2012)

Effect of social isolation stress on GABAA receptor in Y1 receptor KO mice (granted by ex 60%; Foundation of Banco di Sardegna)

Changes in neuronal plasticity induced in the mother by separation from pups


Representative publications

M.G. Pisu, R. Dore, M.C. Mostallino, M. Loi, F. Pibiri, R. Mameli, R. Cadeddu, P.P. Secci, M. Serra.
Down-regulation of hippocampal BDNF and Arc associated with improvement in aversive spatial memory performance in socially isolated rats. Behav Brain Res. 222(1):73-80 (2011)

M.G. Pisu, M.C. Mostallino, R. Dore, E. Maciocco, P.P. Secci, M. Serra.
Effects of voluntary ethanol consumption on emotional state and stress responsiveness in socially isolated rats. Eur. Neuropsychopharmacol. 21(5): 414-25 (2011)

M.C. Mostallino, E. Sanna, A. Concas, G. Biggio, P. Follesa.
Plasticity and function of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors during pregnancy and after delivery. Psychoneuroendocrinology 34(Suppl. 1):S74-S83 (2009).

E. Sanna, M.C. Mostallino, L. Murru, M. Carta, G. Talani, S. Zucca, M.L. Mura, E. Maciocco, G. Biggio.
Changes in expression and function of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors in the rat hippocampus during pregnancy and after delivery. J. Neurosci. 29 (6): 1755-1765 (2009)

M.C. Mostallino, M.L. Mura, E. Maciocco, L. Murru, E. Sanna, G. Biggio.
Changes in expression of the delta subunit of the GABA (A) receptor and in receptor function induced by progesterone exposure and withdrawal. J. Neurochem. 99 (1): 321-32 (2006).