Logo Università degli Studi di Milano


Laboratory of Endocrine Neurophysiology  

Lab. Magnaghi


Group leader
Dr. Valerio Magnaghi, PhD  valerio.magnaghi@unimi.it

Marinella Ballabio, Technician marinella.ballabio@unimi.it
Maria Cristina Mantovani, PhD, Research assistant maria.mantovani@unimi.it
Luca Franco Castelnovo, Fellow luca.castelnovo@unimi.it
Simona Melfi, Fellow simona.melfi@unimi.it



In the CNS and PNS, the glial cells play  a fundamental role during development and in adult life. These cells are able to synthesize and metabolize the factors necessary for neuronal physiologic processes, including neurotransmitters and neuroactive steroids. Recently, an important role for neuron/myelin interaction in the PNS has been attributed to the GABAergic system. The study of such systems, as well as stem cells and functionalized biomaterials, will be carried out with particular attention to neurodegenerative disorders and neuropathic pain.

  1. Study of neurotransmitters and neuroactive steroids of the peripheral nervous system
  2. Role of neurotransmitters and connexins in neuron-glia interactions
  3. Study of mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative medicine of the nervous system
  4. Study of mechanisms and new therapeutic approaches for the peripheral neuropathies and pain
  5. Myelin proteins control in the central and peripheral nervous system



  • Primary cell culture of the nervous system (neuron and glia) and cell biology techniques
  • Culture of mesenchymal stem cells
  • Molecular biology techniques (RT-PCR, realtime-PCR, western, immunoprecipitation)
  • Immunofluorescence and immunocytochemistry
  • Light, confocal, electron microscopy, and stereological analysis


Selected publications 

  1. Magnaghi V., Cavarretta I., Galbiati M., Martini L., Melcangi R.C.. Neuroactive steroids and peripheral myelin proteins. Brain Res. Rev., 37:360-371, 2001.
  2. Magnaghi V., Ballabio M., Cavarretta I.T.C., Froestl W., Lambert J.J., Zucchi I., Melcangi R.C., GABA-B receptors in Schwann cells influence proliferation and myelin protein expression.  Eur. J. Neurosci. 19:2641-2649, 2004.
  3. Magnaghi V., Ballabio M., Camozzi F., Colleoni M., Consoli A., Gassmann M., Lauria G., Motta M., Procacci P., Trovato A.E., Bettler B., Altered peripheral myelination in mice lacking GABA-B receptors. Mol. Cell Neurosci. 37:599-609, 2008.
  4. Goudet C., Magnaghi V., Landry M., Nagy F., Gereau IV R.W., Pin J.P., Metabotropic receptors for glutamate and GABA in pain. Brain Res. Rev60:43-56, 2009.
  5. Magnaghi V., Procacci P., Tata A.M., Novel pharmacological approaches to Schwann cells as neuroprotective agents for peripheral nerve regeneration. Int. Rev. Neurobiol. 87:295-315, 2009.
  6. Magnaghi V, Parducz A, Frasca A, Ballabio M, Procacci P, Racagni G, Bonanno G., Fumagalli F., GABA synthesis in Schwann cells is induced by the neuroactive steroid allopregnanolone.J. Neurochem. 112:980-90, 2010.
  7. Faroni A., Mantovani C., Shawcross S., Motta M., Terenghi G., Magnaghi V. Schwann-like adult stem cells derived from bone marrow and adipose tissue express GABA-B receptors. J. Neurosci Res., 89:1351-62, 2011.
  8. Faroni A., Magnaghi V., The neurosteroid allopregnanolone modulates specific functions in central and peripheral glial cells. Front. Endocrinol. (Lausanne), 2:103, 2011.
  9. Perego C, Cairano ES, Ballabio M, Magnaghi V. Neurosteroid allopregnanolone regulates EAAC1-mediated glutamate uptake and triggers actin changes in Schwann cells. J. Cell Physiol., 227:1740-51, 2012.
  10. Procacci P, Ballabio M, Castelnovo LF, Mantovani C, Magnaghi V. GABA-B receptors in the PNS have a role in Schwann cells differentiation? Front Cell Neurosci. 6:68, 2012. Epub 2013 Jan 10.




Back to top