Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Physiology. Coordinator: Ferroni

The laboratory deals with identification of the role ionic channels play in some physiological and pathophysiological processes. Some research activities aim to characterize ionic mechanisms controlling homeostatic functions of the astroglial and neuronal cells. The other part of studies is dedicated to identify the ionic channels involvement in pathogenetic mechanisms of genetic diseases such as Anderson-Fabry disease. These projects are being developed in animal models, rats and mice as well as in cell lines or cells procured by the biopsy of the human skin. All the studies mentioned come from the techniques used in molecular and cellular biology, cellular electrophysiology and microfluorimetry

Research themes

Cerebral homeostatic mechanism in physiology and physiopathology

These studies analyze cellular and molecular mechanisms that are essential for the homeostatic control of astroglial cells in physiological conditions and their regulation in pathophysiological situations.

Channelopathy in glial and neuronal cells

The principal aim of this part of the research is to determine the pathogenetic role of the altered protein channel expression in the glial and neuronal cells in some of the chronic diseases of the central nervous system.

Expressions and functions of the ionic channels included in the neuropathic pain of the Fabry disease.

The principal aim of this part of the research is to study the role of the diverse receptors/ionic channels included in the nociceptive processes participating on neuropathic pain of the lysosomal storage disease defined as the Fabry disease.

Lab members

Stefano Ferroni, AssociateProfessor (e-mail)

Marco Caprini, Associate Professor (e-mail)

Francesco Formaggio, Junior Assistant Professor (e-mail)

Cecilia Delprete, PhD Student

Davide Pasquinelli, Technician

Internship projects

Research on the physiology of the central nervous system is carried out at the laboratory. In particular, studies are carried out on the functional properties of glial cells, sensory neurons and Fabry disease.

Main publications

An aquaporin-4/transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (AQP4/TRPV4) complex is essential for cell-volume control in astrocytes. Benfenati V, Caprini M, Dovizio M, Mylonakou MN, Ferroni S, Ottersen OP, Amiry-Moghaddam M. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb 8;108(6):2563-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1012867108. Epub 2011 Jan 24. PMID:21262839

Pain related channels are differentially expressed in neuronal and non-neuronal cells of glabrous skin of fabry knockout male mice. Lakomá J, Rimondini R, Donadio V, Liguori R, Caprini M.PLoS One. 2014 Oct 22;9(10):e108641. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108641. 2014. PMID: 25337704

Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts protein 1 regulates glial surface localization of GLIALCAM from fish to humans.Sirisi S, Folgueira M, López-Hernández T, Minieri L, Pérez-Rius C, Gaitán-Peñas H, Zang J, Martínez A, Capdevila-Nortes X, De La Villa P, Roy U, Alia A, Neuhauss S, Ferroni S, Nunes V, Estévez R, Barrallo-Gimeno A.Hum Mol Genet. 2014 Oct 1;23(19):5069-86. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddu231. Epub 2014 May 12.PMID:24824219

Intracellular Na(+) inhibits volume-regulated anion channel in rat cortical astrocytes.Minieri L, Pivonkova H, Harantova L, Anderova M, Ferroni S.J Neurochem. 2015 Feb;132(3):286-300. doi: 10.1111/jnc.12962. Epub 2015 Jan 8.PMID:25279950.

Francesco Formaggio , Emanuela Saracino , Maria Grazia Mola , Rao Shreyas Balachandra , Amiry-Moghaddam Mahmood , Michele Muccini , Roberto Zamboni , Grazia Paola Nicchia , Valentina Benfenati* and Marco Caprini*: LRRC8A is essential for swelling activated chloride current and for regulatory volume decrease in astrocytes. FASEBJ (2018).  2019 Jan;33(1):101-113. doi: 10.1096/fj.201701397RR. Epub 2018 Jun 29 (*co-corresponding).