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Laboratory of Endocrine Neurophysiology  

lab Prof Magnaghi 

Research topics

Research activity of the group is in the field of neuroscience, neuroendocrinology, neurophysiology and tissue engineering.
From about two decades the main topic is the study of role of neuroactive steroids in the central and peripheral nervous  system, focusing on the cross-regulation between neurons and glial cells. These cells, indeed, are able to produce important molecules for the neuronal physiologic process, including the neurotransmitters (for instance the GABAergic system) and the neuroactive steroids. Important scientific interest was addressed to the role of the neuroactive steroids in the process of neuroprotection of the peripheral nervous system, in some models of peripheral neuropathies (e.g. trauma, diabetic neuropathy, demyelinating  diseases, etc.). In this regard, the group is presently studying the following topics:

  • role of the GABAergic system and neuroactive steroids in the mechanisms of peripheral pain and in the electrophysiologic control of the nerve
  • molecular mechanisms controlling  the activation of the peripheral GABAergic system in the regulation of myelination and nerve regeneration
  • study of novel biomaterials, mesenchymal stem cells and pharmacologic treatments for the nerve regeneration
  • effects of the electromagnetic fields on the neuropathology of nerve tumors (schwannomatosis, neurofibromatosis,  vestibular  schwannoma, etc.)


  1. Primary cell cultures of the nervous system (neurons and glia), isolated or in co-colture and technics of cell biology (vitality, proliferation, migration, chemotaxis, elisa assay, etc.)
  2. Cell culture of mesenchymal stem cells
  3. Technics of molecular biology (qRT-PCR, western blot, immunoprecipitation, gel shift assay, etc.)
  4. Immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry; calcium imaging
  5. Optic microscopy, CLSM, EM; morphologic analysis and stereology 
  6. Electrophysiology (compound action potential recording, in vivo evoked potential, etc.)
  7. Behavioural studies (gait analysis, Von Frey test, etc.)



  • Prof. Ada Tata (Professor of  Biology), Dept. of Biology and Biotechnology Charles Darwin, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
  • Prof.  Richard Carr (Professor Neurophysisology) and Prof. Martin  Schmelz (Professor Neurophysisology), Dept. Anesthesiology, Lab. Experimental Pain Research, University of Heidelberg - Mannheim, Germany
  • Prof.  Peter Thomas (Professor  Endocrinology), Dept. of  Marine  Science and  Integrative Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Dr Adam Reid (Lecturer Neurosurgery and Orthopaedics), The University of Manchester, UK
  • Prof.  Lawrence  Wrabetz (Professor  of  Neuroscience),  Hunter James  Kelly  Research Institute,  School of  Medicine and Biomedical  Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, USA
  • Prof. Bernhard Bettler (Professor of Physiology), Institute of Physiology, Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Switzerland
  • Prof. Alexei Verkhratsky (Professor of Neurophysiology),  Faculty  of Life  Sciences,  The University of Manchester, UK
  • Dr. Sara Marinelli, National Research Council-CNR, Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, Rome, Italy
  • Prof. Egle De Stefano (Professor Physiology), University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy

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. Perego C, Cairano ES, Ballabio M, Magnaghi V. Neurosteroid allopregnanolone regulates EAAC1-mediated glutamate uptake and triggers actin changes in Schwann cellsJ Cell Physiol., 227:1740-51, 2012.
  3. Faroni A, Castelnovo L.F., Procacci P, Caffino L., Fumagalli F., Melfi S., Gambarotta G., Bettler B., Wrabetz L., Magnaghi V. Deletion of GABA-B receptor in Schwann cells regulates Remak bundles and small nociceptive C-fibers. GLIA62:548-65, 2014.
  4. Melfi S, Colciago A, Giannotti G, Bonalume V, Caffino L, Fumagalli F, Magnaghi V. Stressing out the Hippo/YAP signaling pathway: toward a new role in Schwann cells. Cell Death Dis. 2015, 5;6:e1915. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2015.291.      
  5. Gennari C.G.M., Cilurzo, F., Mitro N., Minghetti, P., Caruso D., Magnaghi V., In vitro and in vivo evaluation of silk fibroin functionalized with GABA and ALLO for Schwann cell and neuron survival. Regen Med. 2018, 13:141-157.



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