Tiziana Rubino
Tiziana Rubino
affiliation: Università dell'Insubria
research area(s): Neuroscience, Developmental Biology
Course: Neurobiology
University/Istitution: Università dell'Insubria
Education and training
1988 University of Milan, Italy, Laurea in Biological Sciences cum laude
1992 University of Milan, Italy, Ph.D. in Applied Biotechnology

Employment and Professional Experience
1989 awarded the “Premio Gamba” for the best experimental thesis in the pharmacological field for the past year
1990-1995 fellowship from Adriano Buzzati-Traverso Foundation
1992 visiting scientist at the Immunology laboratory of the “Istituto Scientifico dei Tumori” in Genoa, with a project on monoclonal antibodies production
1995-1998 fellowship from the Italian Ministry of Health on “Involvement of drug abuse in HIV progression”
1999-2001 postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Prof. Parolaro at the DBSF (Department of Structural and Functional Biology), University of Insubria, Busto Arsizio (VA), on “Neurobiology of cannabinoids: behavioral and biochemical evidences underlying tolerance and dependence”
2002-date researcher and assistant professor at the DBSF, University of Insubria
2004-date grant recipient from the following organizations: Ministry of University (PRIN), University of Insubria (FAR projects), Compagnia di SanPaolo

Scientific Activity
She is author of 70 papers on peer reviewed international journals, and reviewer for several journals in the field of neuropsychopharmacology.
Invited speaker at national and international scientific meetings.
She is member of the Italian Society of Pharmacology, British Pharmacology Society, American Society for Neuroscience and the International Cannabinoid Research Society, for which she acted as secretary during the period 2007-2008. Member for the Scientific Committee of the PhD in Neurobiology at the University of Insubria, and the Scientific Committee of the Neuroscience Center at the University of Insubria.
Dr. Rubino’s career-long interest is represented by drugs of abuse. Her attention has always been focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying tolerance and dependence to different drugs of abuse. At the beginning she studied opioid tolerance, then she began working in the cannabinoid field (1994) publishing on cannabinoid/opioid interaction at the CNS level. Then she investigated in the CNS the cellular effects of in vivo chronic administration of natural and synthetic cannabinoids. Besides the demonstration of the occurrence of behavioral tolerance and physical dependence to natural, synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids, she studied the cellular mechanisms underlying these phenomena, showing the relevance in specific brain areas of the alterations in receptor number and efficiency, and in cyclic AMP cascade. With a double approach (genetic and pharmacological) she demonstrated the relevance of the Ras/ERK cascade in the molecular events occurring after chronic THC treatment. Finally, she focused her attention on more clinically relevant topics, that is to clarify the possible role that the cannabinoid system plays in the neurobiology of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. The long-term consequences of adolescent exposure to the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, THC, in experimental model represents another topic addressed in these last years
1. Fanali G, Cao Y, Ascenzi P, Trezza V, Rubino T, Parolaro D, Fasano M. 2011 Binding of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and diazepam to human serum albumin. IUBMB Life. 2011 May 9. doi: 10.1002/iub.466.
2. Sala M, Braida D, Lentini D, Busnelli M, Bulgheroni E, Capurro V, Finardi A, Donzelli A, Pattini L, Rubino T, Parolaro D, Nishimori K, Parenti M, Chini B. 2011 Pharmacologic Rescue of Impaired Cognitive Flexibility, Social Deficits, Increased Aggression, and Seizure Susceptibility in Oxytocin Receptor Null Mice: A Neurobehavioral Model of Autism. Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Feb 7
3. Zamberletti E, Viganò D, Guidali C, Rubino T, Parolaro D. 2010 Long-lasting recovery of psychotic-like symptoms in isolation-reared rats after chronic but not acute treatment with the cannabinoid antagonist AM251. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 6:1-14.
4. Realini N, Vigano' D, Guidali C, Zamberletti E, Rubino T, Parolaro D. 2011 Chronic URB597 treatment at adulthood reverted most depressive-like symptoms induced by adolescent exposure to THC in female rats. Neuropharmacology. 60(2-3):235-43
5. Malone DT, Hill MN, Rubino T. 2010 Adolescent cannabis use and psychosis: epidemiology and neurodevelopmental models. Br J Pharmacol. 160(3):511-22.
6. Parolaro D, Realini N, Vigano D, Guidali C, Rubino T. 2010 The endocannabinoid system and psychiatric disorders. Exp Neurol. 224(1):3-14.
7. Guidali C, Viganò D, Petrosino S, Zamberletti E, Realini N, Binelli G, Rubino T, Di Marzo V, Parolaro D. 2010 Cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonism prevents neurochemical and behavioural deficits induced by chronic phencyclidine. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 3:1-12.
8. Parolaro D, Rubino T, Viganò D, Massi P, Guidali C, Realini N. 2010 Cellular Mechanisms Underlying the Interaction between Cannabinoid and Opioid System. Curr Drug Targets. 11(4):393-405.
9. Realini N, Rubino T, Parolaro D. 2009 Neurobiological alterations at adult age triggered by adolescent exposure to cannabinoids. Pharmacol Res. 60(2):132-8.
10. Braida D, Capurro V, Zani A, Rubino T, Viganò D, Parolaro D, Sala M. 2009 Potential anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects of salvinorin A, the main active ingredient of Salvia divinorum, in rodents. Br J Pharmacol. 157(5):844-53
11. Rubino T, Realini N, Braida D, Alberio T, Capurro V, Viganò D, Guidali C, Sala M, Fasano M, Parolaro D. 2009 The Depressive Phenotype Induced in Adult Female Rats by Adolescent Exposure to THC is Associated with Cognitive Impairment and Altered Neuroplasticity in the Prefrontal Cortex. Neurotox Res. 15(4):291-302.
12. Rubino T, Realini N, Braida D, Guidi S, Capurro V, Viganò D, Guidali C, Pinter M, Sala M, Bartesaghi R, Parolaro D. 2009 Changes in hippocampal morphology and neuroplasticity induced by adolescent THC treatment are associated with cognitive impairment in adulthood. Hippocampus. 19(8):763-72
Project Title:
Modulation of chromatin modifications induced by chronic THC abuse during adolescence
We recently demonstrated that adolescent exposure to THC in female rats induces long-lasting behavioural and cellular modifications leading to the development of a complex depressive-like phenotype at adulthood. When this same treatment was performed in adult female rats, it did not induce any behavioural or biochemical alteration suggestive of the presence of the depressive phenotype.
Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms could mediate long lasting changes in behavioural responses, and environmental factors, such as drugs of abuse, may act at least in part via epigenetic alterations to modify neural plasticity and brain function.
On these bases, the aim of the present project is to study the occurrence of epigenetic changes after chronic THC administration in both adolescent and adult female rats.
Preliminary data suggest the presence of increased acetylation of histone H3 in the adolescent brain compared to the adult one.
The next step is now to identify the genes most affected by THC treatment (for example CREB, BDNF, PSD95….)
The second aim of the present project will be to seek for a possible cellular mechanism through which THC may induce these chromatin modifications