Behaviour and synaptic plasticity in a model of early Parkinson's: the role of alpha-synuclein

The Neurophysiology group, under the supervision of Dr. Picconi, has been studying the various pharmacological, molecular and cellular aspects of neurodegenerative disorders through a multidisciplinary approach. In collaboration with the Laboratory of Pharmacological Sciences of the University of Milan (Prof Gardoni), she has characterized the role of alterations in the synaptic localization of NMDA receptors associated to altered synaptic plasticity in animal models of PD. Using cell-permeable TAT peptides, both in vitro and in vivo, it was possible to modulate the GluN2A and GluN2B subunits in synaptic sites and restore the correct synaptic plasticity in MP models. These studies have shown that TAT cell-permeable peptides by modulating the localization of the GluN2A subunit in synaptic sites lead to a significant decrease in L-DOPA dyskinesias. Recently, electrophysiological and behavioral studies in parkinsonian animals have also been performed in hippocampal cognitive areas such as CA1 and dentate gyrus (DG).