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Laboratory of Pharmacology



Research activity

In the laboratory of Pharmacology research is carried out in the fields of basic pharmacology, translational pharmacology , regenerative medicine and therapeutic drug monitoring. 

1. Basic Pharmacology (S Racca, B Mognetti, G Abbadessa)

⦁Identification of the molecular mechanisms involved in the effects of drugs abused in sport. This line of research is developed on appropriate animal models. The group has studied the effects of supratherapeutical doses of androgenic-anabolic steroids, such as nandrolone decanoate, on heart and hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis in the presence or absence of acute stress.


⦁ Study of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying some rare diseases in order to identify new therapeutic targets and expand knowledge on the mechanism of action, and possibly their application, of known active drugs. 

2. Translational pharmacology (G Berta, AE Sprio, F Di Scipio)

⦁ Identification of molecular targets and/or innovative therapeutic approaches. The activity is addressed on the identification of molecules and approaches employable in the treatment of neoplasms characterized by poor prognosis, such as the head and neck cancer. In addition, the Research Group is focalized in the evaluation of methods and/or pharmaceutical formulations designed to improve pharmacokinetics, half-life, and safety of molecules characterized by poor solubility, low bioavailability, or important side effects. More recently, the Group has been intensely involved in the evaluation of the clinical outcomes achieved by innovative and modular surgical approaches to treat head and neck cancers. 

3. Regenerative medicine (S Racca, G Berta, G Abbadessa,  AE Sprio, F Di Scipio)

⦁ Understanding of stem cell roles in tissue homeostasis and repair (G Berta, AE Sprio, F Di Scipio). The Research Group has been involved in the characterization of adult stem cell lines isolated from different sources (dental pulp, adipose and cardiac tissues) as well as of different induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines.

⦁ Platelet rich plasma (PRP) and skeletal muscle healing (S Racca, G  Abbadessa). The research team has developed a rat model to study whether the local delivery of PRP modulates specific molecular events involved in the early stages of the muscle regeneration process. 

4. Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) and pharmacogenetics (S Racca, B Mognetti, E Pirro, S De Francia)


TDM of several classes of drugs for S Luigi Hospital units and other Italian Hospitals(S Racca, E Pirro, S De Francia)

⦁ Development of new analytical methods for determination of drugs in human serum (S Racca, E Pirro, S De Francia)

In collaboration with other groups, determination of genetic polymorphisms involved in variability in drug response, namely concerning drug receptors, metabolism and transport  (B Mognetti, E Pirro, S De Francia)

Prodotti della ricerca

5 most significant publications of recent years: 

  1. Berta GN, Sprio AE, Iezzi M, Spadaro M, Cappia S, Salamone P, Di Scipio F, Mognetti B, Papotti M, Musiani P, Forni G, Cavallo F. - "A DNA vaccine against ERBB2 impairs chemical carcinogenesis in random-bred hamsters" - Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Jul;4(7):994-1001 - PMID: 21733823 
  1. De Francia S, Massano D, Piccione FM, Pirro E, Racca S, Di Carlo F, Piga A. A new HPLC UV validated method for therapeutic monitoring of deferasirox in thalassaemic patients. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2012 Apr 15;893-894:127-33.doi:  10.1016/j.jchromb.2012.02.047. PMID: 22436824. 
  1. Racca S, Piccione F, Spaccamiglio A, Carriero VM, De Francia S, Cangemi L, Esculapio P, Papotti M, Migliaretti G, Portaleone P, Di Carlo F, Abbadessa G. Effects of sub-chronic nandrolone administration on hormonal adaptive response to acute stress in rats. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2012 Aug;37(8):1234-47. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.12.017. PMID: 22226432. 
  1. Di Scipio F, Sprio AE, Folino A, Carere ME, Salamone P, Yang Z, Berrone M, Prat M, Losano G, Rastaldo R, Berta GN. - "Injured cardiomyocytes promote dental pulp mesenchymal stem cell homing" - BBA - General Subjects. 2014; 1840(7):2152-2161 - PMID: 24631652 
  1. Pergolizzi B, Carriero V, Abbadessa G, Penna C, Berchialla P, De Francia S, Bracco E, Racca S. Subchronic nandrolone administration reduces cardiac oxidative markers during restraint stress by modulating protein expression patterns. Mol Cell Biochem. 2017 Apr 21. doi: 10.1007/s11010-017-3036-7.


Ultimo aggiornamento: 10/10/2017 15:43
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