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Pharmacogenetics and Experimental Toxicology Laboratory

Farmacogenetica e Tossicologia Sperimentale

Referent: Prof. Ornella Pastoris

Co-workers: Martina Toffol


Pharmacogenetics of adverse events from antipsychotic drugs

Antipsychotic drugs, introduced on the market starting in the 1950s, have brought significant benefits in the treatment of psychosis and other pathologies that have a common pathway due to dysfunctions in the dopaminergic system. However, the therapeutic effect is accompanied by side effects that can become stigmatizing as well as critical for the patient's health. Antipsychotic drugs are commonly divided into first generation drugs in which the effect is due to the modulation of the dopaminergic system only and second generation flanked by the modulation of the serotonergic one. The first ones show more adverse effects of the motor type such as dyskinesias and parkinsonisms, while the second ones mainly of the metabolic type, such as dyslipidemia and diabetes. In particular, a rare but very serious adverse effect is neuroleptic malignant syndrome which can be fatal, if not treated promptly. Pharmacogenetics is a branch of pharmacology that aims at creating personalized therapies for patients to minimize / eliminate side effects. A genetic component was also highlighted for antipsychotics attributable to the therapeutic effect and adverse events; some genetic variants are currently being studied in the laboratory which, in association, could cause particular effects. Crowdfunding is still dedicated to neuroleptic malignant syndrome (DNA is a hot deal).

Development and validation of molecular assays aimed at evaluating the safety and efficacy of cosmetic products and medical devices

Like all products intended for consumers, cosmetics and medical devices are also subject to precise legislative provisions to ensure the placing on the market of products whose safety, quality and efficacy have previously been proven by appropriate controls, to protect health of the end user. Among the assessments to which cosmetic products and medical devices are subjected, microbiological control is of particular importance, aimed at protecting the health of the end user from the risk of contracting diseases related to the use of a contaminated product, including toxicological and allergological due to the presence of any microbial metabolites. Currently, these controls are based on cultural, cytochemical and immunoenzymatic microbiological methods, which require long execution times, a considerable commitment of the operators and the use of various reagents and microorganisms that at the end of the process require disposal as special waste. Finally, in some cases and despite the considerable effort of means and human resources, these procedures do not always reach a specific identification of any contaminants. In this context, the activity of the laboratory is aimed at setting up and developing molecular assays aimed at detecting some microorganisms as indicators of biological risk and low hygiene of cosmetic products.

The research activity is carried out in collaboration with:

  • Istituti Clinici Maugeri, CNIT, Pavia (Dott.ssa Petrolini, Dott. Locatelli)
  • Istituto di Genetica Molecolare" Luigi Luca Cavalli Sforza" (IGM), Pavia (Prof. Peverali)
  • Biobasic Europe, Milano- PTS Pavia (Dott. Angelinetta)