Neurochemistry of Lipids Lab

Areas of Investigation 

The Laboratory of Neurochemistry of Lipids studies the role of bioactive lipids pathophysiological derived from arachidonic acid, in particular of the endocannabinoid system. The experimental efforts are currently directed towards understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying biosignature of endocannabinoids. To achieve this, the Laboratory designed and developed probes for the study of metabolism and molecular details of intra- and inter-cellular transport of these endogenous compounds. Also of interest are the possible physiological roles of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of processes related to immunity, innate and acquired. Moreover, the research of the Laboratory is intended to include the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in inflammation and neurodegeneration process related to multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.

The Laboratory also studies epigenetic changes in neurodegenerative diseases, as well as their impact on the reporting of bioactive lipids. Surveys are also carried out as part of the protein-membrane interactions, with particular attention to the adjustment of the structure and function of membrane proteins.


The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is a ubiquitous signaling lipid system with significant pro-homeostatic functions. It is composed of the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB 1) and type 2 (CB2), their endogenous ligands and the proteins responsible for their synthesis and degradation.

In the brain, the endocannabinoid system acts as a neurotransmission system able to control neuronal excitability in the various synapses. It is involved in the mediation and modulation of neurochemical and neuroimmune responses to different stressors, including neurodegenerative, immunological and nutritional ones.

Acquired Patents 
  • Use of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and Superoxidedismutase (SOD) for the preparation of drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. 08425123.0
  • Enol carbamate derivatives as modulators of fatty acid amide hydrolase. TW200948805, AR072346
  • Carbamoyl oxime derivatives as modulators of fatty acid amide hydrolase. WO2009138416, AR071800
  • Compounds of 2,3-dihydro-4H-1,3-benzoxazine-4-one, method for preparing them and pharmaceutical form comprendendo them. WO2013IB61106, ITMI20122221
  • Use of cannabinoid compounds for stimulating melanogenesis. FR2978659, 2014
  • Design and synthesis of biotinylated probes for n-acyl-Ethanolamines. US7955816, 2011
  • Use of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and Superoxidedismutase (SOD) for the preparation of drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. 08425123.0
  • Department of Pharmacology, University of California, Irvine (United States)
  • Departments of Cell Biology and Chemistry, The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla (United States)
  • Harvard Institutes of Medicine, Boston (United States)
  • Institute for Drug Research, Medical Faculty, Hebrew University, Jerusalem (Israel)
  • Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen (UK)
Ongoing Research Projects 
  • Modulation of cutaneous endocannabinoid system by probiotics: implications for keratinocyte survival and immune response
  • Emerging role of endocannabinoid signalling in neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Studio dei meccanismi epigenetici coinvolti nei disordini alimentari e nell'obesità per la scoperta di nuovi target farmacologici
  • Plasticità e polarizzazione dei macrofagi nella sclerosi multipla: in "ex vivo" veritas
  • Biochemical profiling of new chemical entities
  • Oxidized lipidome: the unspoken language of non-apoptotic cell death

Laboratory of Neurochemistry of Lipids

Fondazione Santa Lucia Irccs

Via del Fosso di Fiorano, 64 00143 Rome

European Centre for Brain Research (CERC) – Floor 3 – Room 301