Aim of the course is to provide students with advanced knowledge of developmental biology, focussing on vertebrate nervous system.
Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neural differentiation and morphogenesis will be addressed in different in vivo and in vitro models. the role of neurogenesis and plasticity throughout the lifespan of individuals will be examined.
Students will be able to:
1) describe major neural processes in vertebrates;
2) identify molecular pathways driving stem cells to neuronal or glial cell fates;
3) correlate abnormal cellular processes with specific neurodevelopmental or age-related disorders.


teacher profile | materiale didattico

Mutuazione: 20410273 NEUROBIOLOGIA DELLO SVILUPPO in Biologia per la ricerca molecolare, cellulare e fisiopatologica LM-6 MORENO SANDRA


Overview of developmental processes of pluricellular organisms. Germ cell layers. Ectodermal derivation of neural tissue in invertebrates e vertebrates. Specification of neuroectoderm and neurulation process in vertebrates. Primary neurulation: cellular e molecular mechanisms of neural plate, folds, furrow, and tube formation. Secondary neurulation. Neural tube defects in mammals: genetic and environmental causes of anencephaly and spina bifida. Morphogenesis and differentiation of the encephalon and spinal cord. Role of cell death in the morphogenesis of the central nervous system: apoptotic and autophagic pathways. Neural crest: specification and regionalization. Cell migration and differentiation of cephalic, cardiac, trunk, vagal e sacral neural crest. Multipotency e plasticity of neural crest cells. Layering of cortical structures in the cerebrum and cerebellum. Congenital diseseases associated with defects to neuronal migration: the case of peroxisomal disorders. Neural stem cells: neuronal and glial differentiation. Adult neurogenesis in mammals: the subventricular and subgranular zones. The concept of stem cell niche. Regulatory pathways of the neurogenic niche. Neurogenesis and neurodegeneration in the senescent brain. Age-related neurodegenerative diseases: common and specific features. Protein aggregates, role of apoptotic and autophagic pathways, and stem cell-based therapies against neurodegeneration.

Testi Adottati

Gilbert: "Developmental Biology", Tenth edition, Sinauer Associates, Inc., 2014
Sanes et al.: "Development of the nervous system", Elsevier Inc., 2012