Alessandro Barbon
Alessandro Barbon
affiliation: Università di Brescia
research area(s): Molecular Biology, Neuroscience
Course: Molecular Genetics, Biotechnologies and Experimental Medicine
University/Istitution: Università di Brescia
July 1993: High School Diploma (diploma di maturità scientifica) with 58 points out of 60
July 1998: University degree in Biology Science cum laude (110/110 e lode), at the University of Padova defending a thesis entitled: "Costruzione di una mappa trascrizionale del muscolo scheletrico umano" (Generation of a human skeletal muscle transcriptional map) under the supervision of Prof G.A. Danieli, chief of the Human Genetic lab at the Padova University.
September 1998-March 1999: professional training in the Human Genetic lab at the Padova University, working on a research aim to find the gene causing ARVD1 (Arytmogenic Right Ventricular Displasia locus-1).
March 1999: Awarded a four year Ph.D. grant (Dottorato di ricerca in Genetica Molecolare applicata alle Scienze Biomediche) at the University of Brescia in the Biomedical Science and Biothecnologies Department, under the supervison of Prof S. Barlati, director of the Biology and Genetics Division.
November 1999: Qualifying examination (Esame di Stato all'abilitazione della professione di Biologo) with 145 points out of 150.
November 2002: Ph.D in "Genetica Molecolare applicata alle scienze Mediche" defending a thesis entitled "Recettori del glutammato: organizzazione, espressione ed editing" (Glutamate receptors: genomic organization, expression and editing)
January 2004: Awarded a permanent position as Assistant Professor at the Biology and Genetic Division, Biotechnologies Department, University of Brescia
The research activity is mainly focused on the analysis of several effectors of glutamatergic neurotransmission with particular attention to the study of AMPA and KA glutamate receptor subunits and their post transcriptional regulation such us RNA editing and RNA splicing.
Using bioinformatics methods, we previously characterized the genomic organization of several genes coding for glutamate receptor subunits and studied their expression pattern and transcriptional regulation, in human cellular lines and in neuronal tissues (Barbon et al., 2000; 2001; 2003).
Subsequently, we tested the possibility that glutamate receptor genes might be involved in psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and major depression. We acquired expertise on mRNA expression patterns both in “in vitro” and “in vivo” models of schizophrenia and major depression.
In parallel with the expression analysis, we studied the RNA editing levels of AMPA and KA receptors. RNA editing is a post-transcriptional regulation that alters GluRs properties at a functional level. Previously, we standardized a method, based on direct sequence analysis of PCR product, of determining RNA editing levels by using the Applied Biosystems 3100 sequencer. The data showed that a perturbation of glutamate receptor function and expression might be relevant for schizophrenia (Barbon et al., 2007).
We analyzed molecular modifications induced in chronically treated animals by anti-depressant drugs in the rat brain districts principally involved in mood disorders. The drugs used were fluoxetine and reboxetine, serotonin and noradrenalin re-uptake inhibitors that might also have important effects on glutamatergic synaptic plasticity. The results showed that pharmacological treatments altered the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of glutamate receptor genes in a site selectively way (Barbon et al., 2006; Barbon et al., 2011).
One research line focused on the analysis of glutamatergic neurotransmission perturbation on spinal neuron after acute spinal cord injury. We have demonstrated that injured spinal neurons alter the patter of glutamate receptor expression and post-transcriptional regulation (Barbon et al., 2010). Moreover, we have analyzed the importance of the glutamate neurotransmission during neuro-inflammation process (Caracciolo et al., 2011).
Finally, we has acquired expertise in cloning methods and in the preparation of primary neuronal culture (Barbon et al., 2008). To test the function of a specific gene expressed in the central nervous system, primary neuronal culture obtained from embryonic rats are one of the more functional “in vitro” models. We had also standardized “in situ” hybridization methods to localize mRNA transcripts into sub-cellular compartments, using a digoxigenin-labeled RNA probe.
Caracciolo L, Barbon A, Palumbo S, Mora C, Toscano CD, Bosetti F, Barlati S.
Altered mRNA editing and expression of ionotropic glutamate receptors after kainic Acid exposure in cyclooxygenase-2 deficient mice.
PLoS One. 2011 May 12;6(5):e19398 I.F 4.351

Barbon A, Orlandi C, La Via L, Caracciolo L, Tardito D, Musazzi L, Mallei A, Gennarelli M, Racagni G, Popoli M, Barlati S.
Antidepressant Treatments Change 5-HT2C Receptor mRNA Expression in Rat Prefrontal/Frontal Cortex and Hippocampus.
Neuropsychobiology. 2011;63(3):160-8 I.F 2.147

Barbon A, Fumagalli F, Caracciolo L, Madaschi L, Lesma E, Mora C, Carelli S, Slotkin TA, Racagni G, Di Giulio AM, Gorio A, Barlati S
Acute spinal cord injury persistently reduces R/G RNA editing of AMPA receptors.
J Neurochem. 2010 Jul;114(2):397-407. I.F: 3.999

Francolini M, Brunelli G, Cambianica I, Barlati S, Barbon A, La Via L, Guarneri B, Boroni F, Lanzillotta A, Baiguera C, Ettorre M, Buffelli M, Spano P, Clementi F, Pizzi M.
Glutamatergic reinnervation and assembly of glutamatergic synapses in adult rat skeletal muscle occurs at cholinergic endplates.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2009 Oct;68(10):1103-15. I.F 5.1

Musazzi L, Cattaneo A, Tardito D, Barbon A, Gennarelli M, Barlati S, Racagni G, Popoli M.
Early raise of BDNF in hippocampus suggests induction of posttranscriptional mechanisms by antidepressants.
BMC Neurosci. 2009 May 13;10:48 I.F. 2.8

Barbon A, Gervasoni A, LaVia L, Orlandi C, Jaskolski F, Perrais D, Barlati S
Human GluR6c, a functional splicing variants of GluR6, is mainly expressed in non-nervous cells
Neurosci Lett. 2008 Mar 21;434(1):77-82I.F. 2.09

Barbon A, Fumagalli F, La Via L, Caracciolo L, Racagni G, Riva MA, Barlati S.
Chronic phencyclidine administration reduces the expression and editing of specific glutamate receptors in rat prefrontal cortex.
Exp Neurol. 2007 Nov;208(1):54-62 I.F. 4.16

Barbon A, M. Popoli, L. La Via, S. Moraschi, I. Vallini, D. Tardito, E. Tiraboschi, L. Musazzi, R. Giambelli, M. Gennarelli, G. Racagni, S. Barlati
“Regulation of editing and expression of glutamate alpha-Amino-Propionic-Acid (AMPA) kainate receptors by antidepressant drugs”
Biological Psychiatry 59: 713-20 (2006) I.F. 7.154
No projects are available to students for the current accademic year.