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Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Applied Nutrition  



Principal Investigator
e-mail angelamaria.rizzo@unimi.it 

- Paola Antonia Corsetto, Research Associate
  e-mail paola.corsetto@unimi.it
- Gigliola Montorfano, Technician D2
  e-mail gigliola.montorfano@unimi.it
- Andrea Cremona, PhD Student
  e-mail andrea.cremona@unimi.it


Research Interest
The membrane microdomains or "lipid rafts" are true platforms, consisting of sphingolipid / cholesterol / saturated phospholipids tightly packed in a liquid-ordered phase which float within the remaining mass of the membrane lipids, which instead is more unsaturated and resemble the liquid-disordered phase. The lipid rafts have important clinical implications because they contain signal transduction proteins and receptors involved in many pathologies.


Laboratory projects:

- Biochemistry and biophysics of biological membranes: analysis of correlations between structure and function of the "lipid rafts" in normal and transformed cells.

- Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), dietary factors capable of influencing the expression / activity of a wide range of molecular aberrant targets present in breast cancer cells and colon.

- In vivo studies of the physiological metabolic effects of omega-3 PUFA in the control of psychiatric disorders, "wellness" and psychological disorders (ADHD, Alzheimer's, depression).

- In vitro and in vivo analysis of natural extracts antioxidant activity.

- Study of antioxidant systems in invertebrate animals.

- Space Life sciences:  studies of the effects of microgravity, radiation, nutrition and psychological stress in humans, animals and cells using simulated models (Random Positioning Machine, isolation and confinement) and during real space flight (stratospheric balloons, FOTON, Shuttle, ISS).


-Cell cultures in the presence of lipids or plant extracts in normal conditions or stress
-Extraction, purification and analysis of membrane microdomains
-Extraction, purification and quali/quantitative analysis of lipids in different organic matrices using chromatographic techniques (quantitative HPTLC, HPLC, GC)
-Evaluation of whole blood and red blood cell membranes fatty acid profile (SIP, or Zone Test)
-Analysis of proteins by, Western blot, flow cytometry, microscopy, TIRFM, spectrophotometry, ELISA
-Enzymatic assays in different organic matrices
-Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)


Selected Pubblications

  1. Rizzo AM, Corsetto PA,  Montorfano G, Opizzi A, Faliva M, Giacosa A, Ricevuti G, Berra B, M Rondanelli (2012). Comparison between the AA/EPA ratio in depressed and non depressed elderly females: omega-3 fatty acids supplementation correlates with improved symptoms but does not change immunological parameters. Nutrition Journal 11:82.
  2. Orsini F, Cremona A, Arosio P, Corsetto PA, Montorfano G, Lascialfari A, Rizzo AM (2012). Atomic force microscopy imaging of lipid rafts of human breast cancer cells. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1818(12):2943-2949
  3. Corsetto PA, Cremona A, Montorfano G, Jovenitti IE, Orsini F, Arosio P, Rizzo AM (2012). Chemical-Physical Changes in Cell Membrane Microdomains of Breast Cancer Cells After Omega-3 PUFA Incorporation. Cell Biochem Biophys. 6: 45-59. IF 3.743
  4. Rizzo AM, Corsetto PA, Montorfano G, Milani S, Zava S, Tavella S, Cancedda R, Berra B (2012). Effects of long-term space flight on erythrocytes and oxidative stress of rodents. PLoS One. 7(3):e32361. IF 4.092
  5. Riganti C, Voena C, Kopecka A, Corsetto PA, Montorfano G, Enrico E, Costamagna C, Rizzo AM, Ghigo D, Dario, Bosia A (2011). Liposome-encapsulated doxorubicin reverses drug-resistance by inhibiting P-glycoprotein in human cancer cells. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 8: 683-700.
  6. Rizzo AM, Montorfano G,  Negroni M,  Adorni L, Corsetto PA,  Berselli P,  Wahle K, Berra B (2010). A rapid method for determining arachidonic:eicosapentaenoic acid ratios in whole blood lipids: correlation with erythrocyte membrane ratios and validation in a large Italian population of various ages and pathologies. Lipids Health Dis. 9(1):7. IF 2.141
  7. Berselli P, Negroni M, Montorfano G, Corsetto, Krzyzanowska J, Oleszek W, Berra, B, Rizzo AM (2010). A Mint purified extract protects human keratinocytes from short-term, chemically induced oxidative stress. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,58 (21):11428–11434. IF 2.469
  8. Rebecchi L, Altiero T, Guidetti R, Cesari M, Bertolani R, Negroni M, Rizzo AM (2009). Tardigrade Resistance To Space Effects: First Results Of The Experiment Of Life – Tarse Mission On Foton-M3 (September 2007).  Astrobiology. 9(6):581-91. IF 3.257
  9. Germano M,  Meleleo D,  Montorfano G,  Adorni L,  Negroni M,  Berra B, Rizzo A M (2007). Plasma, red blood cells phospholipids and clinical evaluation after long chain omega-3 supplementation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Nutr Neurosci. 10(1-2):1-9
  10. Fontani G, Corradeschi A, Felici A, Sifatti F, Burgarini R, Fiaschi AI, Cerretani D, Montorfano G, Rizzo AM, Berra B (2005). Blood profiles, body fat and mood state in healthy subjects on different diets supplemented with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Eur. J. Clin Invest. 35, 499-507. 
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