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Laboratory of Cellular Pharmacology of Arteriosclerosis - Associated unit of experimental pathology in the field of the metabolic diseases  



Research topics

PSCK9, adipogenesis, endocrine metabolism and CV disease
We aim to understand:
- The role of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) beyond lipid lowering effect, with a focus on inflammation
- The relationship between endocrine disorders (hypogonadism) and cardiovascular diseases
- The Impact of air pollution exposure on cardiovascular diseases
- The role of mitochondrial activity in adipogenesis


In vitro models: gene and protein expression (qPCR and western blot analyses, respectively); immunofluorescence analysis; cell proliferation and migration assays; cell cytotoxicity assay; Oil red O staining and extraction; FACS-based analysis; mitochondrial function assay (“Seahorse XF” technology; measurement of citrate synthase activity; mtDNA analysis; measurement of mitochondrial mass and transmembrane potential); evaluation of intracellular signaling pathways.

In vivo modelsManipulation of murine models, including use of specific dietary patterns (high-fat diet) related to metabolic diseases and obesity, as well as peripheral blood (intraperitoneal glucose, insulin or pyruvate tolerance test; fast-refeed assay) and tissue sampling and related molecular analyses; mitochondria isolation and subsequent analyses; extraction of mouse embryonic fibroblasts; isolation of live, motile sperm from mice; mice breeding.


International collaborations
Maciej Banach, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

National collaborations
Elena Marcello, DiSFeB, Università degli Studi di Milano
Laura Calabresi, DiSFeB, Università degli Studi di Milano
Danilo Norata, DiSFeB, Università degli Studi di Milano
Luca Valenti, Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia Medico-Chirurgica e dei Trapianti, Università degli Studi di Milano
Marco Bonomi, Department of Clinical and Community Science, Università degli Studi di Milano
Valentina Bollati, Department of Clinical and Community Science, Università degli Studi di Milano
Nicola Ferri, Università degli Studi di Padova
Franco Bernini, Università degli Studi di Parma

Selected publications

High density lipoprotein function is reduced in patients affected by genetic or idiopathic hypogonadism. Adorni MP, Zimetti F, Cangiano B, Vezzoli V, Bernini F, Caruso D, Corsini A, Sirtori CR, Cariboni A, Bonomi M, Ruscica M. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Mar 5. pii: jc.2018-02027. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-02027. 

Long-term exposure to air pollution raises circulating levels of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 in obese individuals. Macchi C, Ferri N, Favero C, Cantone L, Vigna L, Pesatori AC, Lupo MG, Sirtori CR, Corsini A, Bollati V, Ruscica M.. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2018 Nov 26:2047487318815320. doi: 10.1177/2047487318815320.

PCSK9 induces a pro-inflammatory response in macrophages. Ricci C, Ruscica M, Camera M, Rossetti L, Macchi C, Colciago A, Zanotti I, Lupo MG, Adorni MP, Cicero AFG, Fogacci F, Corsini A, Ferri N. Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 2;8(1):2267. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20425-x.

Plasma PCSK9 levels and lipoprotein distribution are preserved in carriers of genetic HDL disorders. Ruscica M, Simonelli S, Botta M, Ossoli A, Lupo MG, Magni P, Corsini A, Arca M, Pisciotta L, Veglia F, Franceschini G, Ferri N, Calabresi L. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids. 2018 Sep;1863(9):991-997.

Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling-3 (SOCS-3) Induces Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin Kexin Type 9 (PCSK9) Expression in Hepatic HepG2 Cell Line. Ruscica M, Ricci C, Macchi C, Magni P, Cristofani R, Liu J, Corsini A, Ferri N. J Biol Chem. 2016 Feb 12;291(7):3508-19. 

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