Roberto Pizzala
Roberto Pizzala
affiliation: Università di Pavia
research area(s): Experimental Medicine, Chemical Biology
Course: Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology
University/Istitution: Università di Pavia
Roberto Pizzala earned a degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Pavia.
He subsequently earned a Doctorate in Experimental Pathology.
He is Associate Professor of General pathology at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Pavia, Italy.
His research activity first focused on:
studies on mutagenesis, clastogenesis, and experimental carcinogenesis induced by environmental pollutants and other chemical substances;
studies on the chemopreventive effects of natural antioxidants against the mutagenesis, clastogenesis, and carcinogenesis, induced by genetoxic substances with a direct or indirect mechanism of action;
studies on the uptake and metabolism of of carotenoid and other natural substances in animal experimental model and in the man, with HPLC/UV-VIS spectroscopical and fluorimetric techniques.
His scientific interests subsequently evolved on studies on the biochemical parameters indicating the triggering of lipid peroxidation, such as reactive aldehide production, with HPLC/UV-VIS spectroscopical and fluorimetric techniques, including the second derivative UV spectroscopy;
Studies on the effect of natural substances against genotoxicity.
His most recent research activity focuses on studies on biological,activities of natural substances (carotenoids, fitoalexins and anthocyanins) towards oxidative stress and other mechanisms of cellular and molecular damage on normal and cancer cell lines. The effects (damage,, protection, modifications of the cell cycle) have been analyze both at the biochemical and biomolecular level. At the biochemical level it has been investigated lipid peroxydation and thiol using spctrophotometrical and HPLC techniques, including FLD-DAD-HPLC. Cell toxicity has been investigated with colorimetric techniques. At the molecular level, DNA damage has been investigated using the single cell micro-gel-electrophoresis technique (Comet test), the cyto-fluorimetrical analysis of the Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA); mitochondrial DNA damage has been investigated as well using PCR, Southern blotting,, single strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP), and DNA sequencing. The ability by various natural substances to modulate cell proliferation has been investigated measuring intracellular expression of various cell cycle specific proteins.. As far as the anthocyanin pro-apoptotic activity in normal and neoplastic cells is concerned, Using morphometric (nuclear condensation and fragmentation scoring), immuno-histochemical (Annexin V staining), biochemical (proteolysis of the poli(ADP-ribose) polymerase PAR) and molecular biology (DNA laddering) techniques, the pro-apoptotic effect by anthocyanins in normal and neoplastic cells has been elucidated.
In a another research line, which aim, however is again to study DNA damage mechanisms, experimental models mimicking human pathologic conditions have been set-up. Here, DNA damage by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Reactive Nitrogen Species (RNS) is evaluated in cultured human and murine monocytic cells stimulated by LPS and INF-gamma, measuring flurescence emitted by 2’7’-dichlorofluorescein-diacetate (DCF) by cytofluorimetry, NO synthase expression by Western blotting, and NO production by biochemical methods.
Most recent scientific activity deals with the effect of pharmacological/bio-active molecules extracted from natural products or by-products towards oxidative damage (as measured by lipid peroxidation, using state-of-the-art techniques such as head space/solid phase microextraction) and GC/MS characterization of aldehydic products with short/long acylic chain and the effect of the above molecules towards cell viability, cell proliferation and apoptosis induction in normal and neoplastic cultured cells.

EU: Anthocyanin Bioactivities” (QLK1-1999-00124)
EU: EXTRANAT ‘‘Highly Selective and Environmentally Friendly Fruit Extraction using Supercritical Fluids Technology’’ contract number COOP-CT-2004-512550
Regione Lombardia: Piano per la Ricerca e lo Sviluppo 2004 L.R. n.11 1998 e n.7 2000 (principal investigator)
Fondazione Alma Mater Ticinensis: Promuovere la ricerca d’eccellenza” 2010-2011. "
The resveratrol analogue 4,4'-dihydroxy-trans-stilbene suppresses transformation in normal mouse fibroblasts and inhibits proliferation and invasion of human breast cancer cells. Maccario C, Savio M, Ferraro D, Bianchi L, Pizzala R, Pretali L, Forti L, Stivala LA. Carcinogenesis. 2012 Jul 24. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 22828135

Structure-activity relationship of resveratrol and its analogue, 4,4'-dihydroxy-trans-stilbene, toward the endothelin axis in human endothelial cells. Coppa T, Lazzè MC, Cazzalini O, Perucca P, Pizzala R, Bianchi L, Stivala LA, Forti L, Maccario C, Vannini V, Savio M. J Med Food. 2011 Oct;14(10):1173-80. Epub 2011 May 9

Lazzè Maria Claudia, Pizzala Roberto, Gutierrez Pecharromqn Francisco Javier, Gaton Garnica Paloma, Antolin Rodriguez Juan Manuel, Fabris Nicola, Bianchi Livia (2009). Grape waste extract obtained by Supercritical Fluid Extraction contains bioactive antioxidant molecules and induces antiproliferative effects in human colon adenocarcinoma cells. 17/07/12 16.38

LAZZE M.C.; PIZZALA R.; PERUCCA P. ; CAZZALINI O. ; SAVIO M. ; FORTI L. ; VANNINI V.; BIANCHI. L. (2006). Anthocyanidins decrease endothelin-1 production and increase endothelial nitric oxide synthase in human endothelial cells.. MOLECULAR NUTRITION & FOOD RESEARCH (ISSN:1613-4125) p. 44 - 51 Vol. 50

GIULIANI D.; MIONI C.; ALTAVILLA D.; LEONE S.; BAZZANI C.; MINUTOLI L.; BITTO A.; CAINAZZO M.M.; MARINI H.; ZAFFE D.; BOTTICELLI A.R.; PIZZALA R.; SAVIO M.; NECCHI D.; SCHIOTH H.B.; BERTOLINI A.; SQUADRITO F.; GUARINI S. (2006). Both Early and Delayed Treatment with Melanocortin 4 Receptor-Stimulating Melanocortins Produces Neuroprotection in Cerebral Ischemia . ENDOCRINOLOGY (ISSN:0013-7227) p. 1126 - 1135 Vol. 147,
Project Title:
Studies on the biological beneficial and adverse effects of cosmetic products in cultured cells