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Cellular Biology and Neurobiology Laboratory

Biologia Cellulare e Neurobiologia

Referent: Prof. Maria Grazia Bottone, Prof. Marco Biggiogera

Co-workers: Fabrizio De Luca (Temporary researcher type A), Cristina Favaron (PhD student), Ludovica Gaiaschi (PhD student), Federica Gola (PhD student)


The research topics concern various areas of Cell Biology and Neurobiology: the neuro-oncological one which concerns in particular the study of brain tumors, the physiological aging and related diseases one and the eating disorders one. What these three themes have in common is the study of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress with the aim of finding new therapeutic targets.

Collaborations external to the Department:

  • Prof. Mauro Ravera, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Avanzate, Università del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”, Alessandria;
  • Prof.ssa Elisa Roda, e dott. Carlo Locatelli del Lab. Di tossicologia Clinica e Sperimentale del Centro Antiveleni, Ist. Clinici Scientifici Maugeri IRCCS;
  • Dott.ssa Serena Pellegatta, Fondazione Carlo Besta, Istituto Neurologico, IRCCS;
  • Dott. Renato Borgatti Fondazione Mondino, Istituto Neurologico Nazionale a Carattere Scientifico IRCCS;
  • Dott.ssa Silvia Visona’, Dipartimento di Sanità pubblica, Medicina sperimentale e forense dell’Università degli Studi di Pavia;
  • Dott.ssa Giulia Rancati, Casa di Cura Villa Esperia di Salice Terme (PV).




Immunohistochemical and molecular morphological study of the cytotoxic effects of cisplatin and Platini (IV) in stabilized glioblastoma cell lines and in human primary glioblastoma lines

In this project, the action of a platinum-based compound, Pt (IV) Ac-POA, new compared to cisplatin, is studied. The new molecule, bearing a histone deacetylase (HDACi) inhibitor (2-propinyl) octanoic acid (POA) as an axial ligand, acts as a prodrug in cancer cells, inducing cell death through different pathways at a concentration lower than the tested one for other  similar platinum ones. The action of the new compound on mitochondria and cell organelles is to be demonstrated through microscopic, immunocytochemical and biochemical techniques. In addition, the effect of the combined chemotherapy and hadrotherapy will be evaluated.

Research line in collaboration with prof. Marco Biggiogera and with prof. Paola Rossi



This research project is in collaboration with Prof. Paola Rossi and aims to study effective and non-toxic natural compounds with antioxidant activity, including foods that can be introduced into the diet of patients with the aim of decreasing the oxidative stress, to improve their quality of life. In particular, we are studying the active ingredients of the Voghera pepper, to enhance it as a typical product of our territory and for its nutritional characteristics that make it rich in beneficial properties to demonstrate its anti-aging and anticancer properties on cell lines in culture of aged fibroblasts and on neoplastic cells. Voghera pepper extracts will be analyzed for their antioxidant power using cellular, molecular and biochemical electrophysiological techniques.

Research line in collaboration with Prof. Paola Rossi



This research topic mainly deals with characterizing pediatric patients with Anorexia Nervosa by evaluating their oxidative profile as a marker of the pathology. the project is partly funded by crowdfunding promoted by the University of Pavia in 2017 entitled "Happiness has no weight". Recently, we are studying brain areas (cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum) on autopsy pieces of anorexic patients that could show pathology-related alterations. This part of the project has also been extended to the study of autopsy pieces of obese patients. The techniques used for morphological and oxidative stress analyzes are immunohistochemistry, western blotting and optical, fluorescence and electron microscopy.

Research line in collaboration with Prof. Maurizia Dossena