Animal and environmental physiology

Prof. E. Fabbri, Dr. Silvia Franzellitti, Dr. Paola Valbonesi, Dr.  M. Capolupo.

Main objective is the understanding of neuro-endocrine mechanisms at the basis of cell function regulation in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, and possible alterations triggered by environmental stress factors. The research on these topics is mainly performed in the Ravenna Campus. Basic research is focused on (i) expression of serotonin receptors, signal transduction, and modulation of membrane functions (e.g. MXR transporters) in molluscs; (ii) expression of catecholamine receptors, signal transduction and modulation of hepatic metabolism in fish.

To identify cellular and molecular mechanisms of interaction, responses to natural (pH, temperature) and anthropic (endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals, microplastics) stressors are evaluated in marine invertebrates through investigations on gene and protein expressions, signal transduction mechanisms and enzyme activities. The team also perform applied investigations: evaluation of marine environmental quality through biomarkers; protein expression, inflammatory responses, estrogenicity and genotoxicity tests in cultured human cells. Main applied methodologies are PCR and qPCR, Western blotting, spectrometry and spectrofluorometry, optical and fluorescence microscopy. In collaboration with the physiology lab in Bologna (Dr. Enzo Spisni) proteomic analysis are also carried out.


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