4 febbraio:
Giornata Mondiale della Lotta contro il Cancro

Elisa Caiola

Dipartimento di oncologia

Il tuo aiuto e il tuo sostegno possono fare la differenza nella lotta contro il cancro.

Il 2022 ha visto i nostri ricercatori impegnati nello studio di 7 importanti patologie e il coinvolgimento in nuove attività rivolte agli studi clinici.

Ecco alcuni dei risultati più significativi.


Why to research:

Men and women possess biological differences that manifest in diverse risk profiles for traumatic brain injury and may influence disease progression and recovery of function.

Examples of broad physiological differences influencing traumatic brain injury risk are lower neck strength and thickness in women that makes them more susceptible to injury. Hormones influencing brain physiology can affect both cellular damage and repair after TBI. At the cellular level, axons in women are smaller than those in males, increasing the risk of damage under stretch forces.

In the past, changes in the brain’s response to trauma was predominantly investigated in male rodents, as TBI was mainly observed in young males. Today, the number of women patients suffering from TBI is increasing in both young and old women.

In response to injury, oxidative stress is considered a key element of progressive cellular damage that can be targeted for therapy by interfering with inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) enzymatic activity. The cellular expression of iNOS is strongly influenced by hormones and preliminary data suggest distinct sex dependent activation patterns that could also be influenced by age. Thus, a thoughtful characterization in TBI experimental models of the extent and timing of iNOS expression in women and male rodents, and its changes in relation to age is needed. This in turn may inform interventional studies targeting iNOS for therapy.

This basic science research is essential to determine the optimal window of opportunity to provide neuroprotective therapies in women patients.

Project objectives:

- Understand what role sex and age differences play in the distinct susceptibility to TBI and injury evolution.

- Identify actionable targets for intervention and how sex and age can alter or influence tailored therapeutic approaches.


- We will understand how sex and aging influences iNOS expression in response to TBI.

- The project will lay the basis for future clinical studies targeting iNOS in young and old women by avoiding the empirical transfer of preclinical results obtained in male only.

Tieniti aggiornato sulle novità dell'Istituto Mario Negri. 

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