- Terza Missione
- Discovering Padova
We study the unique properties of regeneration of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), after degeneration or paralysis, to discover the signals exchanged among the motor axon terminal, perisynaptic Schwann cells and the muscle fibre leading to its functional recovery.
Degeneration and/or paralysis is induced by mechanical trauma or using presynaptic neurotoxins (including snake phospholipase A2 neurotoxins, the spider α-Latrotoxin or botulinum neurotoxins) which provide good models to discover:
a) the signaling activating the muscle and perisynaptic Schwann cells to promote NMJ rescue
b) the back signaling stimulating the recovery of function of paralysed motor axon terminals
c) the molecular determinants of NMJ plasticity in health and disease