tutti i venerdì dalle 14 alle 15 nella mia stanza al complesso polivalente CUBO, viale Pieraccini 6 primo piano ala sud stanza numero 1/086
cortesemente ivniare una mail prima email@example.com
Name : Clara BALLERINI
Date of Birth: 24/03/1961, Florence, ITALY
STATE: divorced, one daughter, Virginia, 22 yrs old
Professional address: Department of NEUROFARBA Lab. Neuroimmunology, Complesso Polivalente Viale Pieraccini, 6 50139 Firenze, Italy
Master II level in Biomedical journalism, University of Florence, 2007
PhD in Neurosciences, University of Florence, 1999
Doctor in Natural Sciences, University of Florence, 1989
Languages: English, fluent; French, fluent; German, basic level
1990-91 CITFI (national pharmacological consortium) fellowship and funds for training period at the Neuroimmunology Unit, Harvard, Boston (MA). Director Stephen Hauser
1992-95 AISM (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society) fellowship on Multiple Sclerosis
1995-99 PhD in Neurosciences
1999- 2012 Research assistant at the University of Florence
2002-2003 Poste Vert INSERM, Paris
2003-2004 Post-doc UPMC (Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie), Paris VI
2012-2018 Researcher type a) University of Florence, Department NEUROFARBA
Ad hoc referee for:
Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Israel Science Foundation
National Medical Research Council Singapore
Journal of the Neurological Sciences
Journal of Neurology
Scientific Committee FISM
Coordinator of diagnostic activity in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) laboratory – Neurological Clinic University of Florence– (from 2000 to 2012)
FISM 2014-2016 Member of the Research Council
AINI 2016-2019 Advisor Steering Comittee
Member of Italian Neuroimmunology Society (AINI)
Member of Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society (AISM)
Member of Italian Immunological Society (SIICA)
Member of American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
Selected seminars and lessons (2008-2015)
2008 Serono, Ivrea. Invited seminar titled: “Modulation of dendritic cells: from immunogenic to tolerogenic responses”
2009 University of Florence, two invited lessons: “Methods in neurosciences”
2011 University of Florence, lesson for residents in Neurology: “ Mesenchymal stem cells in autoimmune diseases: the example of Multiple Sclerosis”
2011 University of Siena, seminar to the PhD school in Evolutionary Biology: “The experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis: animal model for Multiple Sclerosis and possible model of nervous system-immune system interactions”
2013 COST Action BM0806, invited instructor, Training School “Pharmacological Models of Inflammatory and Immunological Disorders” Trinity College Dublin, Dublin Ireland 30TH January-1st February
2014 American Society for Nanomedicine, invited lecture “Nano-materials at the neuro-immune interface” March 28-30 Rockville, Washington DC, USA
2015 First Congress Neuro-autoimmune Diseases, Prato 20-21 February, invited lecture " The laboratory in the diagnosis of neuro-autoimmune diseases"
During the last years CB supervised the experimental thesis of graduate and under graduate students as well as PhD fellows (School of Neuroscience) and resident fellows (School of Neurology). Lessons at the School of Human Health: -Coordinator of "Neurofisiologia del sistema nervoso periferico" 24 hours -Corso di "Fondamenti anatomo-fisiologici vita psichica" 60 hours
Funds As principal investigator:
2005 FISM project: Immunological evaluation of bone marrow in severe Multiple Sclerosis patients undergoing autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
2012 Merck-Serono project: Biological marker research in CSF isolated from Multiple Sclerosis patients and other inflammatory/autoimmune diseases.
2012 Biogen project: Pilot evaluation of infection containment in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis under natalizumab treatment.
2013 Istituto Mach, S Michele all’Adige, Trento, Italy project: Evaluation of treatment with vegetal miR during active and passive induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS): decrypting a possible mechanism of immune modulation.
2015 Angelini: Evaluation of immunological biomarkers in peripheral blood cells of patients with major depressive episode (MDE) diagnosis.
2015 FISM coordinator multicenter two years project " Impact of successful immunomodulatory therapies in RRMS on human TCR repertoire by next generation sequencing"
As Team member:
2010 FISM project: The histaminergic H4 receptor as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of autoimmune neuropathologies (Dept of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology, Florence, project leader Beatrice Passani)
2010 FISM project The Rai adaptor protein in Th17 cell differentiation, effector function and chemotaxis and in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (Dept Evolutionary Biology, Siena, project leader Cosima Tatiana Baldari)
2011 FISM pilot project Analysis of Epstein-Barr virus infection and immune response in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood of patients with multiple sclerosis using highly sensitive PCR techniques (multicenter study, coordinator ISS Rome, Francesca Aloisi)
2015 FISM multicenter project "Combined analysis of EBV and cellular gene expression in clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting and primary progressive multiple sclerosis for the identification of prognostic biomarkers", three years project, responsible of Centre 3, University of Florence
2015 FISM "Astrocyte deficiency of the Shc family member Rai attenuates myelin-reactive Th17 cell-dependent neurodegeneration in EAE: a mechanistic study of astrocyte-T cell interactions", coordinator Cosima Baldari, University of Siena.
2015 Regione Toscana: INSIDE – “SvIluppo di targeting diagNostici e teranoStici basati su nano sIstemi e/o linfociti ingegnerizzati per l’indiviDuazione precoce e il trattamento del mElanoma e della sclerosi multipla” "Development of diagnostic and theranostic targeting based on nano system and/or engineered lymphocytes for melanoma and multiple sclerosis treatment"; a valere sul PROGRAMMA OPERATIVO REGIONALE FESR 2014 – 2020, BANDI RSI Bando 1: Progetti Strategici di ricerca e sviluppo
Others experiences: 1993 CB have been successfully attending the Master in Science Communication at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA-ISAS, Trieste, Italy) and between 1990 and 1992 CB has actively collaborated with papers, interviews and commentaries to the national daily scientific section of the newspaper l’Unità. From 2009 she monthly collaborates with Ambasciata Teatrale (www.ambasciatateatrale.com) .
1. Lolli F, Liuzzi GM, Vergelli M, Massacesi L, Ballerini C, Amaducci L, Riccio P Antibodies specific for the lipid bound form of myelin basic protein during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis J Neuroimmunol 1993 44:69-75 IF 3.159
2. Massacesi L, Vergelli M, Zehetbauer B, Liuzzi GM, Olivotto J, Ballerini C, Uccelli A, Mancardi L, Riccio P, Amaducci L Induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in rats and immune response to myelin basic protein in lipid bound form J Neurol Sci 1993 119:91-8 IF 2.359
3. Vergelli M, Mazzanti B, Ballerini C, Gran B, Amaducci L, Massacesi L Transforming growth factor-beta 1 inhibits the proliferation of rat astrocytes induced by serum and growth factors J Neurosci Res 1995 40:127-33 IF 3.27
4. Cascino I, Ballerini C, Audino S, Rombolà G, Massacesi L, Colombo G, Scorza Smeraldi R, D’Alfonso S, Momigliano Richiardi P, Tosi R, Ruberti G Fas gene polymorphisms are not associated with systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis and HIV infection Dis Markers 1998 13:221-
5 IF 1.79 5. Gran B, Gestri D, Sottini A, Quiros Roldan E, Bettinardi A, Signorini S, Primi D, Ballerini C, Taiuti R, Amaducci L, Massacesi L Detection of skewed T-cell receptor V-beta gene usage in the peripheric blood of patients with multiple sclerosis J Neuroimmunol 1998 85:22-32 IF 3.159
6. Ballerini C, Nacmias B, Rombolà G, Marcon G, Massacesi L, Sorbi S HLA A2 allele is associated with age of onset of Alzheimer’s disease Ann Neurol 1999 45:397-400 IF 8.81
7. D’Alfonso S, Nistico L, Zavattari P, Marrosu MG, Murru R, Lai M, Massacesi L, Repice A, Ballerini C, Gestri D, Salvetti M, Ristori G, Bomprezzi R, Trojano M, Liguori M, Gambi D, Quattrone A, Fruci D, Cucca F, Richiardi PM, Tosi R Linkage analysis of multiple sclerosis with candidate region markers Sardinian and Continental Italian families Eur J Hum Genet 1999 7:377-85 IF 3.925
8. Mazzanti B, Hemmer B, Traggiai E, Ballerini C, McFarland HF, Massacesi L, Martin R, Vergelli M Decrypting the spectrum of antigen-specific T-cell responses: the avidity repertoire of MBP-specific T-cells J Neurosci Res 2000 59:86-93 IF 3.27
9. D’Alfonso S, Nistico L, Bocchio D, Bomprezzi R, Marrosu MG, Murru MR, Lai M, Massacesi L, Ballerini C, Repice A, Salvetti M, Montesperelli C, Ristori G, Trojano M, Liguori M, Gambi D, Quattrone A, Tosi R, Momigliano-Richiardi P An attempt to identifying MS-associated loci as follow-up of a genomic linkage study in the Italian population J Neurovirol 2000 2: S18-22 IF 3.290
10. Ballerini C, Campani D, Rombolà G, Gran B, Nacmias B, Amato MP, Siracusa G, Bartolozzi L, Sorbi S, Massacesi L Association of apolipoprotein E polymorphism to clinical heterogeneity of multiple sclerosis Neurosci Lett 2000 296:174-6 IF 2.189
11. Chiarugi A, Cozzi A, Ballerini C, Massacesi L, Moroni F Kinureine 3-mono-oxygenase activity and neurotoxic kynureine metabolites increase in the spinal cord of rats with experimental allergic encephalomyelithis Neuroscience 2001 102:687-95 IF 3.661
12. Soldan SS, Fodgell-Hahan A, Brennan MB, Mittleman BB, Ballerini C, Massacesi L, Seya T, McFarland HF, Jacobson S Elevated serum and cerebrospinal fluid levels of soluble human herpesvirus type 6 cellular receptor, membrane cofactor protein, in patients with multiple sclerosis Ann Neurol 2001 50:486-93 IF 8.81
13. Papini AM, Mazzanti B, Nardi E, Traggiai E, Ballerini C, Biagioli T, Kalbacher H, Beck H, Deeg M, Chelli M, Ginanneschi M, Massacesi L, Vergelli M Palmitoyl derivatives of GpMBP epitopes: T-cell response and peptidases susceptibility J Med Chem 2001 44:3504-10 IF 4.898
14. Vergelli M, Mazzanti B, Traggiai E, Biagioli T, Ballerini C, Parigi A, Konse A, Pellicano G, Massacesi L Short-term evolution of autoreactive T cell repertoire in multiple sclerosis J Neurosci Res 2001 66:517-24 IF 3.27
15. Traggiai E, Biagioli T, Rosati E, Ballerini C, Mazzanti B, Ben Nun A, Massacesi L, Vergelli M IL-7-enhanced T-cell response to myelin proteins in multiple sclerosis J Neuroimmunol 2001 121:119-9 IF 3.159
16. Ballerini C, Rosati E, Salvetti M, Ristori G, Cannoni S, Biagioli T, Massacesi L, Sorbi S, Vergelli M Protein tyrosine phophatase receptor-type C exon 4 gene mutation distribution in an Italian multiple sclerosis population Neurosci Lett 2002 328:325-7 IF 2.189
17. Buzzetti R, Pozzilli P, Di Mario U, Ballerini C, Massacesi L Multiple Sclerosis and Type I diabetes Diabetologia 2002 45:1735-6 IF 6.418
18. Mellai M, Giordano M, D’Alfonso S, Marchini M, Scorza R, Danieli GM, Leone M, Ferro I, Liguori M, Trojano M, Ballerini C, Massacesi L, Cannoni S, Bomprezzi R, Momigliano-Richiardi P Prolactin and prolactin receptor gene polymorphisms in multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus Hum Immunol 2003 64:274-84 IF 3.061
19. Ballerini C., Guerini F.R., Rombolà G., Rosati E., Massacesi L., Ferrante P., Caputo D., Figà Talamanca L., Naldi P., Liguori M., Alizadeh M., Momigliano-Richiardi P., D’Alfonso S. HLA-Multiple Sclerosis association in Continental Italy and correlation with disease prevalence in Europe J Neuroimm, 2004 150(1-2):178-85 IF 3.159
20. Bruley Rosset M., Ballerini C., Gregoire S., Metharom P., Carnaud C., and Pierre Aucouturier. Breaking immune tolerance to the prion protein using prion protein peptides plus oligodeoxynucleotide-CpG in mice J Immunol, 2004 172(9):5168-74. IF 6
21. Mazzanti B., Biagioli T., Aldinucci A., Cavaletti G., Cavaletti E., Oggiorni N., Frigo M., Rota S., Tagliabue E., Ballerini C., Massacesi L., Riccio P., Lolli F. Effects of pixantrone on immune-cell function in the curse of acute rat experimental allergic encephalomyelitis J Neuroimm, 2005;168(1-2):111-7. IF 3.159
22. Ballerini C., Gourdain P, Bachy V., Blanchard N., Levavasseur E., Gregoire S., Aucouturier P, Hivroz C., Carnaud C. Functional implication of cellular prion protein (PrPC) in antigen-driven interactions between T cells and dendritic cells J Immunol, 2006, 176: 7254–7262. IF 6
23. Alessandra Aldinucci, Gianni Gerlini, Silvia Fossati, Giulia Cipriani, Clara Ballerini, Tiziana Biagioli, Nicola Pimpinelli, Lorenzo Borgognoni, Luca Massacesi, Flavio Moroni, and Alberto Chiarugi A Key Role for Poly(ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1 Activity during Human Dendritic Cell Maturation J. Immunol., Jul 2007; 179: 305 - 312. IF 6
24. Sandra D’Alfonso, Elisabetta Bolognesi, Franca R Guerini, Nadia Barizzone, Sara Bocca, Daniela Ferrante, Luca Castelli, Laura Bergamaschi, Cristina Agliardi, Pasquale Ferrante, Paola Naldi, Maurizio Leone, Domenico Caputo, Clara Ballerini, Marco Salvetti, Daniela Galimberti, Luca Massacesi, Maria Trojano, Patricia Momigliano-Richiardi, A sequence variation in the MOG gene is involved in multiple sclerosis susceptibility in Italy Genes Immun. 2007 Jan;9(1):7-15 IF 4
25. Francesco Liotta, MD, Francesca Frosali, BSc, Valentina Querci, BSc, Andrej Mantei, BSc, Lucia Filı`, BSc, Laura Maggi, BSc, Benedetta Mazzinghi, BSc, Roberta Angeli, BSc, Elisa Ronconi, BSc, Veronica Santarlasci, PhD, Tiziana Biagioli, PhD, Laura Lasagni, PhD, Clara Ballerini, PhD, Paola Parronchi, MD, Alexander Scheffold, PhD, Lorenzo Cosmi, MD, Enrico Maggi, MD, Sergio Romagnani, MD, and Francesco Annunziato, PhD, Human immature myeloid dendritic cells trigger a TH2-polarizing program via Jagged-1/Notch interaction J Allergy Clin Immunol 2008 Apr;121(4):1000-5 IF 9.773
26. Ilaria Luccarini, Clara Ballerini, Tiziana Biagioli, Filippo Biamonte, Arianna Bellucci, Maria Cristina Rosi, Cristina Grossi, Luca Massacesi, Fiorella Casamenti, Combined treatment with atorvastatin and minocycline suppresses severity of EAE Experimental Neurology 211, 2008 214–226 IF 3.974
27. Benedetta Mazzanti b,1, Alessandra Aldinucci a,1, Tiziana Biagioli a, Alessandro Barilaro a, Serena Urbani b, Simone Dal Pozzo b, Maria Pia Amato a, Gianfranco Siracusa a, Clara Crescioli d, Cinzia Manuelli c, A. Bosi b, Riccardo Saccardi b, Luca Massacesi a, Clara Ballerini a, Differences in mesenchymal stem cell cytokine profiles between MS patients and healthy donors: Implication for assessment of disease activity and treatment J Neuroimm 2008, Aug 13;199(1-2):142-50 IF 3.159 28. Véronique Bachy, Clara Ballerini, Pauline Gourdain, Aurélie Prignon, Saci Iken, Nadine Antoine, Martine Bruley-Rosset, Claude Carnaud, Breaking T- and B-cell tolerance against the prion protein (PrP) with peptidi-loaded dendritic cells, J Gen Virol, 2009, Nov 18, (Epub ahead printing) IF 3.410 29. Alessandra Aldinucci, Tiziana Biagioli, Cinzia Manuelli, Luca Massacesi, Clara Ballerini Modulating dendritic cells (DC) from immunogenic to tolerogenic responses: a novel mechanism of AZA/6-MP J Neuroimm 2009, Nov 25 (Epub ahead printing) IF 3.159
30. Aldinucci A, Rizzetto L, Pieri L, Nosi D, Romagnoli P, Biagioli T, Mazzanti B, Saccardi R, Beltrame L, Massacesi L, Cavalieri D, Ballerini C. Inhibition of immune synapse by altered dendritic cell actin distribution: a new pathway of mesenchymal stem cell immune regulation. J Immunol. 2010 Nov 1;185(9):5 102-10. Epub 2010 Oct 1.IF 6
31. Franciotta D, Di Stefano AL, Jarius S, Zardini E, Tavazzi E, Ballerini C, Marchioni E, Bergamaschi R, Ceroni M Cerebrospinal BAFF and Epstein-Barr virus-specific oligoclonal bands in multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory demyelinating neurological diseases .J Neuroimmunol. 2011 Jan;230(1-2):160-3. Epub 2010 Nov 24. IF 2.83
32. Bonetti MI, Pieri L, Domenici L, Urbani S, Romano G, Aldinucci A, Ballerini C, Monici M, Saccardi R, Basile V, Bosi A, Romagnoli P Dendritic cells with lymphocyte stimulating activity differentiate from human CD133 positive precursors. Blood. 2011 Feb 8. [Epub ahead of print] IF 10.555
33. Cavone L, Aldinucci A, Ballerini C, Biagioli T, Moroni F, Chiarugi A. PARP-1 inhibition prevents CNS migration of dendritic cells during EAE, suppressing the encephalitogenic response and relapse severity. Mult Scler. 2011 Feb 22. [Epub ahead of print] IF 3.28
34. Gourdain P, Ballerini C, Nicot AB and Carnaud C. Exacerbation of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in prion protein (PrPc)-null mice: evidence for a critical role of the central nervous system. Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012, 9:25 Pub date 26 Jan 2012 IF 5.79
35. Passani M. B. and Ballerini C. Histamine and neuroinflammation: insights from mouse experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Front. Syst. Neurosci. 2012 6:32. doi:10.3389/fnsys.2012.00032
36. C. Ballerini, A. Aldinucci, I. Luccarini, A. Galante, C. Manuelli, P. Blandina, M. Katebe, P.L. Chazot, E. Masini and M.B. Passani. 2013 Antagonism of histamine H4 receptor exacerbates clinical and pathological signs of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis Br J Pharmacol. 2013 Sep;170(1):67-77.IF 4.49
37. Bonetti MI, Bacci S, SantuossoM, Mazzanti B, Aldinucci A, Ballerini C, Guasti D, Calosi L, Bosi A, Romagnoli P. 2013 Rosiglitazone promotes the differentiation of Langerhans cells and inhibits that of other dendritic cell types from CD133 positive hematopoietic precursors. Histol. Histopathol. 2013 Jul 24. [Epub ahead of print] IF 2. 281
38. Amedei A, Codolo G, Ozolins D, Ballerini C, Biagioli T, Jaunalksne I, Zilevica A, D Elios S, De Bernard M, D' Elios MM. 2013 Cerebrospinal fluid T-regulatory cells recognize Borrelia burgdorferi NAPA in chronic Lyme borreliosis. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol Oct-Dec; 26 (4): 907-15 IF 2.685 39. Alessandra Aldinucci,† Antonio Turco,‡ Tiziana Biagioli,† Francesca Maria Toma,‡ Daniele Bani,§ Daniele Guasti,§ Cinzia Manuelli,§ Lisa Rizzetto,†,‡,§,∥ Duccio Cavalieri,†,‡,§,∥ Luca Massacesi,† Tommaso Mello,⊥ Denis Scaini,□ Alberto Bianco,¶ Laura Ballerini,*,□ Maurizio Prato,*, and Clara Ballerini*,† Carbon Nanotube Scaffolds Instruct Human Dendritic Cells: Modulating Immune Responses by Contacts at the Nanoscale; Nano Letters 2013 DOI: 10.1021/nl403396e. IF 13.02
40. Renato Ribeiro-Viana‡, Elena Bonechi‡, Javier Rojo, Clara Ballerini, Giuseppina Comito, Barbara Richichi* and Cristina Nativi. Human dendritic cell activation induced by a permannosylated dendron containing an antigenic GM3-lactone mimetic Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 2014, 10, 1317–1324. I.F. 2.801 41. Elena Bonechi, Alessandra Aldinucci, Benedetta Mazzanti, Massimo di Gioia, Anna Maria Repice, Cinzia Manuelli, Riccardo Saccardi, Luca Massacesi and Clara Ballerini. Increased CXCL10 expression in MS MSCs and monocytes is unaffected by AHSCT, Ann Clin Transl Neurol, 2014 DOI: 10.1002/acn3.92
42. Clara Ballerini, Giovanni Baldi, Alessandra Aldinucci, Pietro Maggi Nanomaterial Applications in Multiple Sclerosis Inflamed Brain, Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
2015 DOI: 10.1007/s11481-015-9588-y
43. Fibbi B, Benvenuti S, Giuliani C, Deledda C, Luciani P, Monici M, Mazzanti B, Ballerini C, Peri A. Low extracellular sodium promotes adipogenic commitment of human mesenchymal stromal cells: a novel mechanism for chronic hyponatremia-induced bone loss. Endocrine. 2015 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print] I.F. 3.878
44. Caterina Veroni, Fabiana Marnetto, Letizia Granieri, Antonio Bertolotto, Clara Ballerini, AnnaMaria Repice, Lucia Schirru, Giancarlo Coghe, Eleonora Cocco, Eleni Anastasiadou, Maria Puopolo, Francesca Aloisi. Immune and Epstein-Barr virus gene expression in cerebrospinal fluid and peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples from patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neuroinflammation 2015 12:132 DOI 10.1186/s12974-015-0353-1 I.F. 5.41
45. Duccio Cavalieri, Lisa Rizzetto, Noemi Tocci, Damariz Rivero, Elisa Asquini, Azeddine Si-Ammour, Elena Bonechi, Clara Ballerini, Roberto Viola. Plant microRNAs as novel immunomodulatory agents. Scientific Reports 2016 May 11;6:25761. doi: 10.1038/srep25761. PMID: 27167363 I.F. 5.578
46. Alessandra Aldinucci, Elena Bonechi, Cinzia Manuelli, Daniele Nosi, emanuela Masini, Maria Beatrice Pasani, and Clara Ballerini. Histamine regulates actin cytoskeleton in human Toll like receptor 4 activated monocyte derived dendritic cells tuning CD4+ T lymphocyte response. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2016 May 13. pii: jbc.M116.720680. [Epub ahead of print] I.F. 4.573
47. Cristina Ulivieri, Maria Teresa Savino, Ilaria Luccarini, Emanuela Fanigliulo, Alessandra Aldinucci, Elena Bonechi, Marisa Benagiano, Barbara Ortensi, Giuliana Pelicci, Mario Milco D'Elios, Clara Ballerini, Cosima T Baldari. The adaptor protein Rai/ShcC promotes astrocyte-dependent inflammation during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis J Immunol. 2016 Jun 10. pii: 1502063. [Epub ahead of prin I.F. 4.922
Chapters in Books
S. Sorbi, B. Nacmias, M. Mortilla, S. Piacentini, G. Marcon, P. Piersanti, C. Ballerini, P. Forleo, S. Latorraca, G. Tesco, L. Amaducci. “Linkage Analysis in Italian Pedigrees with Autosomal Dominant Familial Alzheimer's Disease Cerebral Ischemia and Dementia” p. 185-186 In: Hartmann A., Kuschnisk W., Hoyer S. Cerebral Ischemia and Dementia., Heidelberg:Springer, 1991
Sorbi S., Nacmias B., Mortilla M., Piacentini S., Piersanti S., Tesco G., Latorraca S., Forleo P., Ballerini C., Bucca F., Amaducci L. (1991). Linkage analysis of early onset familial form of Alzheimer's disease (FAD) in pedigree of italian origin. In: C. Camaschetta, M. Furbetta, P. Merlin, M. Pirastu . DNA Analysis of genetic diseases: state-of-the-art in Italy. p. 1-4, Milano: Amity Rassegne Scientifiche 1991
Yrjo T. Konttinen, Henrik Husu, Xia Han, M. Beatrice Passani, Clara Ballerini, Vasily Stegaev, Tarvo Sillat, Zygmunt Mackiewicz “Non-professional Histamine Producing Cells, Immune Responses and Autoimmunity” p. 201-258 Chapter 7 in Histamine H4 Receptor: A Novel Drug Target in Immunoregulation and Inflammation edited by Holger Stark Versita, Versita Ltd, London W1H 1DP, Great Britain 2013
Over the years CB has progressively evolved from a humanistic education to a full time research activity in the field of neuroimmunology. CB interests have ranged from scientific literature and journalism, to laboratory activity including teaching, publication of original papers, participation to scientific forums and clinical duties (diagnostic activity in the field of neurology). From 1990 CB has been involved in medical research, particularly in the study of the immunological and genetic aspects of two neurological diseases: Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis, with special interest for multiple sclerosis. CB organized and supervised the formation of a biological tissue bank for DNA and Cells collected from more than 400 multiple sclerosis patients distributed in Italy with the collaboration of seven national university neurological centers. This collaboration provided CB the opportunity to study the genetic aspects of susceptibility to multiple sclerosis with the identification of several associated alleles. On the other hand CB has been also investigating the immunological aspects of multiple sclerosis studying the T cell phenotype in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) cell populations, utilizing MoAb and cytofluorimetry methods and investigating the main characteristics of T cells as proliferation properties, cytokine production, antigen specificity, cytotoxicity. CB research activity involved also the study of the animal model of multiple sclerosis: experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Recently CB has been investigating the functional study of T cell together with the molecular analysis of the T cell receptor repertoire. From 2002 to 2004 CB has been post doc at E209 INSERM, Paris under the direction of Pierre Aucutourier and the supervision of Claude Carnaud focusing her research on prion disease and immune system. During her work at INSERM, she has investigated the role of prion protein at the immunological synapse between T cell and dendritic cell, the role in CNS during EAE and she has investigated the possibility to brake immune tolerance to prion protein in mouse and she developed a protocol to immunize mice with dendritic cells as a tool for prion disease therapy. In all the projects where CB participates she achieves expected scientific results. From 2004 CB was back at the Neuroimmunology Unit of University of Florence, she starts working on the possibility to modulate dendritic cell (DC) function from immunogenic to tolerogenic as possible therapy in CNS autoimmune diseases. She is group leader coordinating three persons on different projects and collaborating with several units. Recent studies reveal striking parallels between cellular signaling mechanisms in the immune (IS) and nervous systems (CNS) that may provide unexpected insights into the development, function, and diseases of both systems. Therefore, CB focused her experience, knowledge and skills into project concerning biological and physical properties shared between CNS cells and IS with particular interest on dual role of inflammation, view as a cross talk between the two systems, in CNS during neurological diseases. In this perspective, CB collaborations permit her to investigate the role of histamine and histamine receptors on EAE and a more recently on DCs, cell cytoskeleton and T lymphocytes polarization. Furthermore, CB collaboration with Laura Ballerini, SISSA Trieste Italy, widened her research field into nanotechnology, with two recent publications on carbon nanotubes and nanoparticles; both materials placed in a prospective of translation into neurological disease theranostic and into understanding immune central nervous system damage. Recently, CB collaboration with Cosima Tatiana Baldari, University of Siena, permits her to investigate the signal adaptor of T cell receptor signaling (SchA,Rai) role in astrocytes during EAE. Finally, CB extended her competence in neuroimmunology and immunological markers investigating possible role of immune cell and inflammation in psychiatric diseases in order to identify possible new biomarkers of disease and response to therapies. To this aim CB is coordinating, in collaboration with the Psychiatric Unit at the Careggi University Hospital (Florence) a project based on methanalysis and revision of data regarding immunological alterations during specific psychiatric disorders.
Resume of activities: the Laboratory of Neuroimmunology, department of Neurosciences, Psychology, Drugs and Child Health (NEUROFARBA), University of Florence.
The activity of the Laboratory of Neuroimmunology, coordinated by Clara Ballerini PhD, is focused on the dialogue between immune system (IS) cells and molecules and central nervous system (CNS) ones. In this context we are performing basic sciences research studies (by mean of cells isolated from humans and mice) and study on human diseases characterized by the involvement of both systems, as multiple sclerosis (MS) and the animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), neuro-Behçet disease (NBD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the transgenic animal model G93A.
In collaboration with the Hematologic Unit (Careggi Hospital, Florence University) we studied and characterized human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), in order to evaluate their potential in future therapies and characteristics in autoimmune diseases.
Recently, we were involved in the evaluation of nanomaterials (carbon nanotubes, iron oxide nanoparticles) as possible vehicle of therapy in CNS and their interaction with immune system cells.
Methods developed in the laboratory: isolation and differentiation of immune cells from peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), isolation of immune cells from mouse organs (bone marrow, spleen and lymphocytes, spinal cord and brain), cell biology, molecular and cellular immunology, study of soluble factors (cytokines and chemokines) mediating immunity (ELISA; Milliplex Luminex), T cell receptor repertoire analysis, study of gene expression by real time PCR, by arrays, study of cell phenotype by flow cytometry, morphological and functional studies by confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, study of immune synapse (IS). We perform clinical evaluation of EAE and when possible imaging, together with histological and neuropathological evaluation. We perform clinical evaluation of G93A (SOD1 mutated mouse, model of ALS) followed by histological and neuropathological analysis. We perform active and passive induction of EAE in different mouse strains.
Ongoing projects and collaborations: - Histamine effects on human myeloid dendritic cells after innate immune stimulations (in collaboration with Beatrice Passani, Pharmacological section) - Role of adaptive protein Rai in MS pathogenesis (in collaboration with Cosima Baldari, University of Siena) - Nanomaterial interactions in CNS and IS (in collaboration with Laura Ballerini, ISAS, Trieste Italy) - Immunologic evaluation of bone marrow in patients affected by MS that undergone autologous stem cell transplantation - Pilot study of infection containment in MS patients under natalizumab therapy (in collaboration with the second division of Neurology, Luca Massacesi, University of Florence) - Cell and soluble factors study in CSF of NBD and MS patients (in collaboration with Alessandro Barilaro, second division of neurology University o Florence, and Giacomo Emmi, division of clinical immunology University of Florence) - In vitro and in vivo evaluation of a NGF mimetic molecule (in collaboration with Laura Ballerini, ISAS Trieste and Federico Cozzolino, University of Florence) - Nano-engineered immune cells for MS (in collaboration with MM D'Elios, University of Florence, and Giovanni Baldi, Colorobbia, Empoli, SME).