Research in this laboratory is focused on the intracellular mechanisms that regulate neuronal survival and differentiation, and the events that underlie the neuropathogenesis of AIDS and neuroinflammatory diseases. Our current interests are related to the involvement of chemokines in CNS physiology (i.e. neuronal survival, activity and development) and pathology (HIV-related neuropathology and neuro-inflammatory diseases). The aim is to determine the direct effects of chemokines on neurons, and identify the molecular mechanisms that regulate the activity of neuronal chemokine receptors including their interaction with major neurotransmitter and neuropeptide systems.
Our immediate goal is to ascertain whether chemokines may act as both neuroprotective and neurotoxic agents depending on various cellular and environmental conditions, and relate these effects to their role(s) in CNS physiology and pathology. The long-term goal is to provide a substantial contribution to the characterization of chemokine actions within the CNS, and foster the development of therapeutic molecules against neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases.
Selected Publications (See all Olimpia Meucci's publications in PubMed.)
"The chemokine receptor CX3CR1 is directly involved in the arrest of breast cancer cells to the skeleton"
Jamieson WL, Zhang Y, Fong AM, Meucci O, and Fatatis A
Breast Cancer Research, Sep 20;13(5):R91 (2011)
"Role of mu-opioids as cofactors in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 disease progression and neuropathogenesis"
Banerjee A, Strazza M, Wigdahl B, Pirrone V, Meucci O, and Nonnemacher MR
Journal For Neurovirology, Aug;17(4):291-302. Epub 2011 Jul 7 (2011)
"CXCR7 protein expression in human adult brain and differentiated neurons"
Shimizu S, Brown M, Sengupta R, Penfold ME, and Meucci O
PLoS One, 6(5):e20680. Epub 2011 May 31 (2011)
"Regulation of Neuronal Ferritin Heavy Chain, A New Player in Opiate-Induced Chemokine Dysfunction"
Abt AC and Meucci O
Journal of NeuroImmune Pharmacology, Apr 5. [Epub ahead of print] (2011)