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Fani Neto

Biochemist, PhD in Human Biology at Faculty of Medicine of Porto (FMUP)
Assistant Professor of Histology and Embryology



Field of scientific activity
Chronic pain and plastic changes induced in the Central Nervous System by chronically enhanced sensory input, especially in the expression of neurotransmitters and their receptors and the effect of pharmacological manipulation of the receptors on the nociceptive behaviour.Chronic pain models in rodents (inflammatory and neuropathic); Thalamic transmission of nociceptive input; plastic changes induced in the nociceptive system, mainly at supraspinal level, by chronically enhanced sensory nput; metabotropic receptors (glutamate, GABA, opioids); signalling cascades molecules (ERK´s); Highly experienced in in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry and stereotaxic microinjection techniques and evaluation of nociceptive behaviour in different rodent models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain.


Current research interests
Neurobiology of chronic pain at the supraspinal level. Common mechanisms underlining chronic pain and associated depressive conditions; novel treatments for chronic pain; descending pain modulation mechanisms and the monoaminergic system; intracellular signalling cascades (specially pathways involving MAPKs, such as ERKs) and neurotrophins in pain; pain-induced glia-neuron cross-talk at the primary afferents.


Main Findings
  • Neuronal metabolic activity is increased in the spinal cord and several supraspinal nuclei during the development of a chronic inflammatory pain condition. Metabolic changes depict an interesting time course pattern with peaks at 2 (early time point) and 14 days (late time point) of disease.
  • The mRNA expression of metabotropic glutamate receptors 1, 3, 4 and 7 is differentially regulated in the thalamus and cerebral cortex of monoarthritic rats;
  • Inhibition of pain behaviour by GABAB receptors in the thalamic ventrobasal complex in the formalin test and during chronic inflammatory pain (monoarthritis).
  • Inhibition of pain behaviour by opioid receptors agonists in the thalamic ventrobasal complex in in the formalin test and during chronic inflammatory pain (monoarthritis).
  • ERKs1/2 is activated in the spinal cord of rats subjected to noxious mechanical stimulation during chronic inflammatory pain condition (monoarthritis);
  • Inhibition of ERKs1/2 activity in the spinal cord has an antinociceptive effect during chronic inflammatory pain;
  • ERKs1/2 is differentially activated in noradrenergic and serotonergic brainstem nuclei during chronic neuropathic pain or antidepressants treatment;
  • The expression of ATF-3 is altered in small and medium primary afferent neurons during inflammatory pain;

Main objectives
  • Evaluate the role of noradrenergic receptors on the neurochemical changes and ERKs' activity at supraspinal levels during chronic (neuropathic/inflammatory) pain and antidepressants treatment;
  • Study the role of ATF-3 overexpression in the primary afferent neurons during inflammatory pain;
  • Evaluate the role of amylin in nociception

References
  • Schadrack J., Neto F.L., Ableitner A., Castro-Lopes J.M., Willoch F., Bartenstein P., Zieglgänsberger W. e Tölle T.R. Neuroscience, 94 (1999) 595-605.
  • Neto F.L., Schadrack J., Ableitner A., Castro-Lopes J.M., Bartenstein P., Zieglgänsberger W. e Tölle T.R. Neuroscience, 94 (1999) 607-621.
  • Neto F.L., Schadrack J., Berthele A., Zieglgänsberger W., Tölle T.R. e Castro-Lopes J.M. Brain Res., 854 (2000) 93-105.
  • Neto F.L., Schadrack J., Platzer S., Zieglgänsberger W., Tölle T.R. e Castro-Lopes J.M. Mol. Brain Res., 81 (2000) 140-154.
  • Neto F.L. e Castro-Lopes J.M. Neurosci. Lett., 296 (2000) 25-28.
  • Neto F.L., Schadrack J., Platzer S., Zieglgänsberger W., Tölle T.R. e Castro-Lopes J.M. J. Neurosci. Res., 63 (2001) 356-367.
  • Ferreira-Gomes J., Neto F.L. e Castro-Lopes J.M. Biochem Pharmacol., 68 (2004):1603-1611.
  • Cruz, C.D., Neto, F., Castro-Lopes, J., McMahon, S.B. e Cruz, F. Pain 116 (2005): 411-419.
  • Potes C.S., Neto F.L. Castro-Lopes J.M. J. Neurosci. Res., 83 (2006) 515-523.
  • Ferreira-Gomes J, Neto FL e Castro-Lopes JM (2006) Brain Research Bulletin 71(1-3): 252-258.
  • Potes CS, Neto FL e Castro-Lopes JM (2006) Brain Research 1115: 37-47.
  • Neto, F.L., Ferreira-Gomes, J., Castro-Lopes, J.M. (2006) In: "GABA". Advances in Pharmacology vol. 54 (S.J. Enna, Ed.), pp. 29-51. Elsevier, Academic Press.
  • Neto FL, Carvalhosa R, Ferreira-Gomes J, Reguenga C e Castro-Lopes JM (2008) J. Chem. Neuroanatomy, 36(2): 122-7.
  • Pozza D.H., Potes C.S., Cardoso P., Azevedo L.F., Castro-Lopes J.M. e Neto F.L. (2010) Pain 148: 492-502. Epub 2010 Jan 27.
  • Neto F.L., Borges G., Torres-Sánchez S., Mico J.A. and Berrocoso E. (2010) Neurotrophins Role in Depression Neurobiology: a Review of Basic and Clinical Evidence. Curr. Neuropharmacol. (in press).
Pain Unit Cell Division Group Stress and Ageing Group Translational Neuro-Urology Group
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