Riccardo Fesce

M.D. Degree at the University of Milano, Italy (1979).
Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Pharmacology at the University of Milano, Italy (1985).
Research activity    -    Current Research Lines    -    Publications    -  R.F. homepage

Reasearch Activity
1983-1985 Research Associate at the Biophysics Department, the Rockefeller University, New York, NY.
1985-2001 Research Associate, National Research Council (CNR) at the C.N.R. Centre of Cytopharmacology, Milano, Italy.
Since 2001, Associate Professor, Phisiology, at the Insubria University - Varese, Busto Arsizio
Since 2003, Founder and member of the Research Centre for Neurosciences, Insubria University, Busto Arsizio
Since 1995, leader of the Theoretical Biology Centre at DIBIT (Biological-Technological Research Dept.) of S. Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milano, and since 1998 member of the NEUROSCIENCES Dept. at S.Raffaele S.I.

My main research interest has long been neurotransmitter secretion at the nerve terminal, and synaptic vesicle recycling in particular [1-8, 10-13, 15, 18, 20, 24, 36, 40, 42-43]. I initially worked by combining electrophysiology and morphological techniques such as freeze-fracture and quick freezing. I later focussed my attention on the analysis of biological signals: I developed an original procedure of noise analysis for the quantitative evaluation of synaptic recordings [5,6,13] and studied signal processing at the first sensory synapse in the labyrinth [9].

More recently I have been involved in mathematical modeling of biological systems: actin polymerization [16-17, 19], calcium distribution in the cell [14, html paper, 41, 51-52, 57], signal processing at the neuronal synapse [32, 36, 39, 47, 53, 55,], receptor crosstalk [22-23, 28], molecular biology experiments [35, html paper], and the molecular mechanism of neurotransmitter membrane transporters [46, 48-49].

Riccardo Fesce - Current Research Lines

Quantal release and synaptic vesicle turnover [16, 20, 40, 42-43]: the kiss-and-run model  

1. Synaptic transmission and sensory signal processing.
In collaboration with Oscar Sacchi, Dept. Biology, General Physiology, University of Ferrara, we have developed a mathematical model of the bioelectrical properties of the sympathetic neuron at the rat superior cervical ganglion (SCG) [32].  Using this model, we have investigated the properties of signal processing at the ganglionic synapse in response to presynaptic activation [31, 39, 47, 55].
In collaboration with M.L. Rossi, Dept. Biology, General Physiology, University of Ferrara we have characterized the properties of transmitter release at the cytoneural junction of the frog labyrinth [9, 21, 26-27, 33]. We have developed and refined original techniques of signal processing to analyse the signal processing features of this sensory system [9, 21]

2. Neurotransporter molecular mechanism.
In collaboration with Antonio Peres, DBSF, Insubria University, we have combined electrophysiological measurements of GABA transport, as a function of membrane potential in various ionic environments, with charge movement during operation of the GAT-1 neurotransporter in the same conditions, but in the absence of substrate (GABA). We demonstrated that ion movement across the transporter molecule is the common source of both type of currents: transient charge movements without substrate (pre-steady-state currents) and transport-associated steady currents. We set up a three-state model that, although terribly simple, can dynamically account for all experimental observations [46, 48-49].

3. Modeling binding site interaction in human serum albumin.
In collaboration with Mauro Fasano, DBSF, Insubria University, we have analyzed the interactions between heme and fatty acid binding to albumin, and set up a simplified model to clarify the interactions among the various drug and lipid binding sites of albumin [54, 56].


68.   The amplitude and inactivation properties of the delayed potassium currents are regulated by protein kinase activity in hair cells of the frog semicircular canals.
Martini M, Canella R, Fesce R, Rossi ML.
PLoS One. 2013 Jul 2;8(7):e67784. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067784. Print 2013.     Free PMC Article

67.   Synapsins contribute to the dynamic spatial organization of synaptic vesicles in an activity-dependent manner.
Fornasiero EF, Raimondi A, Guarnieri FC, Orlando M, Fesce R, Benfenati F, Valtorta F.
J Neurosci. 2012 Aug 29;32(35):12214-27. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1554-12.2012.     Free Article

66.   Acute effects of gentamicin on the ionic currents of semicircular canal hair cells in the frog.
Martini M, Canella R, Prigioni I, Russo G, Tavazzani E, Fesce R, Rossi ML.
Hear Res. 2011 Dec;282(1-2):151-60. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2011.08.011. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

65.  Can selectivity be functionally modulated in ion channels?
Fesce R, Forti L, Polenghi A, Locarno A, Canella R, Sacchi O, Rossi ML.
J Gen Physiol. 2011 Sep;138(3):367-70. doi: 10.1085/jgp.201110690. No abstract available.

64.  Changes in cationic selectivity of the nicotinic channel at the rat ganglionic synapse: a role for chloride ions?
Sacchi O, Rossi ML, Canella R, Fesce R.
PLoS One. 2011 Feb 25;6(2):e17318.     Free PMC Article

63.  Exposure to reduced gravity impairs junctional transmission at the semicircular canal in the frog labyrinth.
Rossi ML, Rubbini G, Gioglio L, Martini M, Fesce R.
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2010 Feb;298(2):R439-52.

62.  Analysis of pre- and postsynaptic activity in the frog semicircular canal following ototoxic insult: differential recovery of background and evoked afferent activity.
Russo G, Calzi D, Gioglio L, Botta L, Polimeni MR, Zucca G, Martini M, Contini D, Fesce R, Rossi ML, Prigioni I.
Neuroscience. 2009 Nov 10;163(4):1327-39.

61.  Ionic currents in hair cells dissociated from frog semicircular canals after preconditioning under microgravity conditions.
Martini M, Canella R, Leparulo A, Prigioni I, Fesce R, Rossi ML.
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 May;296(5):R1585-97.

60.  Isolation and possible role of fast and slow potassium current components in hair cells dissociated from frog crista ampullaris.
Martini M, Canella R, Fesce R, Rossi ML.
Pflugers Arch. 2009 Apr;457(6):1327-42.

59.  The nicotinic activation of the denervated sympathetic neuron of the rat.
Sacchi O, Rossi ML, Canella R, Fesce R.
Neuroscience. 2008 Jul 17;154(4):1360-71.

58.  Regulation of the subthreshold chloride conductance in the rat sympathetic neuron.
Sacchi O, Rossi ML, Canella R, Fesce R.
Eur J Neurosci. 2007 Feb;25(4):1112-26.

57.  Potassium currents in the hair cells of vestibular epithelium: position-dependent expression of two types of A channels.
Russo G, Calzi D, Martini M, Rossi ML, Fesce R, Prigioni I.
Eur J Neurosci. 2007 Feb;25(3):695-704.

56.  Baclofen and potential therapeutic use: studies of neuronal survival.
Dario A, Pisani R, Sangiorgi S, Soragna A, Reguzzoni M, Protasoni M, Pessina F, Fesce R, Peres A, Tomei G.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2006 Nov 21;550(1-3):33-8.

55.  IP3 receptor in the hair cells of frog semicircular canal and its possible functional role.
Rossi ML, Prigioni I, Gioglio L, Rubbini G, Russo G, Martini M, Farinelli F, Rispoli G, Fesce R.
Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Apr;23(7):1775-83.

54.  Allosteric modulation of drug binding to human serum albumin.
Ascenzi P, Bocedi A, Notari S, Fanali G, Fesce R, Fasano M.
Mini Rev Med Chem. 2006 Apr;6(4):483-9. Review.

53.  Synaptic and somatic effects of axotomy in the intact, innervated rat sympathetic neuron.
Sacchi O, Rossi ML, Canella R, Fesce R.
J Neurophysiol. 2006 May;95(5):2832-44. Free Article

52.  Allosteric modulation of myristate and Mn(III)heme binding to human serum albumin. Optical and NMR spectroscopy characterization.
Fanali G, Fesce R, Agrati C, Ascenzi P, Fasano M.
FEBS J. 2005 Sep;272(18):4672-83.     Free Article

51.  Biophysical properties of the silent and activated rat sympathetic neuron following denervation.
Sacchi O, Rossi ML, Canella R, Fesce R.
Neuroscience. 2005;135(1):31-45.

50.  A novel pattern of fast calcium oscillations points to calcium and electrical activity cross-talk in rat chromaffin cells.
Micheletti M, Brioschi A, Fesce R, Grohovaz F.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2005 Jan;62(1):95-104.

49.  Intracellular Ca2+ buffers can dramatically affect Ca2+ conductances in hair cells.
Martini M, Rispoli G, Farinelli F, Fesce R, Rossi ML.
Hear Res. 2004 Sep;195(1-2):67-74.

48.  Two conserved cysteine triads in human Ero1alpha cooperate for efficient disulfide bond formation in the endoplasmic reticulum.
Bertoli G, Simmen T, Anelli T, Molteni SN, Fesce R, Sitia R.
J Biol Chem. 2004 Jul 16;279(29):30047-52. Free Article

47.  Electrophysiological insights into the mechanism of ion-coupled cotransporters.
Peres A, Giovannardi S, Bossi E, Fesce R.
News Physiol Sci. 2004 Apr;19:80-4. Review.     Free Article

46.  Cl- affects the function of the GABA cotransporter rGAT1 but preserves the mutal relationship between transient and transport currents.
Giovannardi S, Fesce R, Bossi E, Binda F, Peres A.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2003 Mar;60(3):550-6.

45.  Voltage- and activity-dependent chloride conductance controls the resting status of the intact rat sympathetic neuron.
Sacchi O, Rossi ML, Canella R, Fesce R.
J Neurophysiol. 2003 Aug;90(2):712-22. Free Article

44.  The relation between charge movement and transport-associated currents in the rat GABA cotransporter rGAT1.
Fesce R, Giovannardi S, Binda F, Bossi E, Peres A.
J Physiol. 2002 Dec 15;545(Pt 3):739-50.     Free PMC Article

43.  Block of glutamate-glutamine cycle between astrocytes and neurons inhibits epileptiform activity in hippocampus.
Bacci A, Sancini G, Verderio C, Armano S, Pravettoni E, Fesce R, Franceschetti S, Matteoli M.
J Neurophysiol. 2002 Nov;88(5):2302-10.     Free Article

42.  Urokinase regulates vitronectin binding by controlling urokinase receptor oligomerization.
Sidenius N, Andolfo A, Fesce R, Blasi F.
J Biol Chem. 2002 Aug 2;277(31):27982-90. Free Article

41.  Synaptic vesicles: is kissing a matter of competence?
Valtorta F, Meldolesi J, Fesce R.
Trends Cell Biol. 2001 Aug;11(8):324-8. Review.

40.  Ca2+-dependent kinetics of hair cell Ca2+ currents resolved with the use of cesium BAPTA.
Rispoli G, Martini M, Rossi ML, Rubbini G, Fesce R.
Neuroreport. 2000 Aug 21;11(12):2769-74.

39.  Peeping at the vesicle kiss.
Fesce R, Meldolesi J.
Nat Cell Biol. 1999 May;1(1):E3-4. No abstract available.

38.  Participation of a chloride conductance in the subthreshold behavior of the rat sympathetic neuron.
Sacchi O, Rossi ML, Canella R, Fesce R.
J Neurophysiol. 1999 Oct;82(4):1662-75.     Free Article

37.  Mechanisms of coordination of Ca2+ signals in pancreatic islet cells.
Bertuzzi F, Davalli AM, Nano R, Socci C, Codazzi F, Fesce R, Di Carlo V, Pozza G, Grohovaz F.
Diabetes. 1999 Oct;48(10):1971-8.     Free Article

36.  Mab21, the mouse homolog of a C. elegans cell-fate specification gene, participates in cerebellar, midbrain and eye development.
Mariani M, Corradi A, Baldessari D, Malgaretti N, Pozzoli O, Fesce R, Martinez S, Boncinelli E, Consalez GG.
Mech Dev. 1998 Dec;79(1-2):131-5.

35.  The kinetics of nerve-evoked quantal secretion.
Fesce R.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1999 Feb 28;354(1381):319-29. Review.     Free PMC Article

34.  A computer-driven approach to PCR-based differential screening, alternative to differential display.
Consalez GG, Cabibbo A, Corradi A, Alli C, Sardella M, Sitia R, Fesce R.
Bioinformatics. 1999 Feb;15(2):93-105.     Free Article

33.  Marginal donors in liver transplantation: the role of donor age.
De Carlis L, Colella G, Sansalone CV, Aseni P, Rondinara GF, Slim AO, Di Benedetto F, Giacomoni A, Fesce R, Forti D.
Transplant Proc. 1999 Feb-Mar;31(1-2):397-400. No abstract available.

32.  The effects of perilymphatic tonicity on endolymph composition and synaptic activity at the frog semicircular canal.
Rossi ML, Ferrary E, Martini M, Pelucchi B, Bernard C, Teixeira M, Sterkers O, Rubbini G, Fesce R.
Hear Res. 1998 Jul;121(1-2):99-108.

31.  A model of signal processing at a mammalian sympathetic neurone.
Sacchi O, Belluzzi O, Canella R, Fesce R.
J Neurosci Methods. 1998 Apr 30;80(2):171-80.

30.  Synaptic current at the rat ganglionic synapse and its interactions with the neuronal voltage-dependent currents.
Sacchi O, Rossi ML, Canella R, Fesce R.
J Neurophysiol. 1998 Feb;79(2):727-42.     Free Article

29.  Phosphorylation-dependent effects of synapsin IIa on actin polymerization and network formation.
Nielander HB, Onofri F, Schaeffer E, Menegon A, Fesce R, Valtorta F, Greengard P, Benfenati F.
Eur J Neurosci. 1997 Dec;9(12):2712-22.

28.  Evidence for receptor subtype cross-talk in the mitogenic action of serotonin on human small-cell lung carcinoma cells.
Vicentini LM, Cattaneo MG, Fesce R.
Eur J Pharmacol. 1996 Dec 30;318(2-3):497-504.

27.  The effect of clofilium, a K-channel blocker, on the electrogenic K secretion and the sensory discharge at the frog semicircular canal.
Rossi ML, Ferrary E, Martini A, Martini M, Pelucchi B, Bernard C, Teixeira M, Sterkers O, Fesce R.
Brain Res. 1996 May 20;721(1-2):174-80.

26.  Effects of clofilium, a K channel blocker, on electrogenic K secretion and afferent discharge at the frog semicircular canal. A preliminary report.
Rossi ML, Ferrary E, Martini A, Martini M, Pelucchi B, Bernard C, Teixeira M, Sterkers O, Fesce R.
Acta Otolaryngol. 1996 Mar;116(2):277-9.

25.  Is the use of marginal donors justified in liver transplantation? Analysis of results and proposal of modern criteria.
De Carlis L, Sansalone CV, Rondinara GF, Colella G, Slim AO, Rossetti O, Aseni P, Della Volpe A, Belli LS, Alberti A, Fesce R, Forti D.
Transpl Int. 1996;9 Suppl 1:S414-7.

24.  The membrane fusion machine and neurotransmitter release.
Fesce R, Valtorta F, Meldolesi J.
Neurochem Int. 1996 Jan;28(1):15-21. Review. No abstract available.

23.  Mitogenic effect of serotonin in human small cell lung carcinoma cells via both 5-HT1A and 5-HT1D receptors.
Cattaneo MG, Fesce R, Vicentini LM.
Eur J Pharmacol. 1995 Oct 15;291(2):209-11.

22.  Quantal nature of synaptic transmission at the cytoneural junction in the frog labyrinth.
Rossi ML, Martini M, Pelucchi B, Fesce R.
J Physiol. 1994 Jul 1;478 ( Pt 1):17-35.     Free PMC Article

21.  Neurotransmitter release: fusion or 'kiss-and-run'?
Fesce R, Grohovaz F, Valtorta F, Meldolesi J.
Trends Cell Biol. 1994 Jan;4(1):1-4.

20.  Fluorescence approaches to the study of the actin-nucleating and bundling activities of synapsin I.
Valtorta F, Ceccaldi PE, Grohovaz F, Chieregatti E, Fesce R, Benfenati F.
J Physiol Paris. 1993;87(2):117-22.

19.  Synapsin I partially dissociates from synaptic vesicles during exocytosis induced by electrical stimulation.
Torri Tarelli F, Bossi M, Fesce R, Greengard P, Valtorta F.
Neuron. 1992 Dec;9(6):1143-53.

18.  Effects of the neuronal phosphoprotein synapsin I on actin polymerization. II. Analytical interpretation of kinetic curves.
Fesce R, Benfenati F, Greengard P, Valtorta F.
J Biol Chem. 1992 Jun 5;267(16):11289-99.

17.  Effects of the neuronal phosphoprotein synapsin I on actin polymerization. I. Evidence for a phosphorylation-dependent nucleating effect.
Valtorta F, Greengard P, Fesce R, Chieregatti E, Benfenati F.
J Biol Chem. 1992 Jun 5;267(16):11281-8.

16.  Correlation between quantal secretion and vesicle loss at the frog neuromuscular junction.
Hurlbut WP, Iezzi N, Fesce R, Ceccarelli B.
J Physiol. 1990 Jun;425:501-26.     Free PMC Article

15.  Spontaneous [Ca2+]i fluctuations in rat chromaffin cells do not require inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate elevations but are generated by a caffeine- and ryanodine-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ store.
Malgaroli A, Fesce R, Meldolesi J.
J Biol Chem. 1990 Feb 25;265(6):3005-8.

14.  Stochastic approaches to the study of synaptic function.
Fesce R.
Prog Neurobiol. 1990;35(2):85-133. Review. No abstract available.

13.  Neurotransmitter release and synaptic vesicle recycling.
Valtorta F, Fesce R, Grohovaz F, Haimann C, Hurlbut WP, Iezzi N, Torri Tarelli F, Villa A, Ceccarelli B.
Neuroscience. 1990;35(3):477-89. Review. No abstract available.

12.  Spontaneous and nerve-evoked quantal transmission in regenerated motor terminals.
Di Gregorio F, Fesce R, Cereser S, Favaro G, Fiori MG.
Cell Biol Int Rep. 1989 Dec;13(12):1119-26. Review.

11.  Dual effect of potassium on transmitter exocytosis.
Grohovaz F, Fesce R, Haimann C.
Cell Biol Int Rep. 1989 Dec;13(12):1085-95. Review.

10.  Static and dynamic properties of synaptic transmission at the cyto-neural junction of frog labyrinth posterior canal.
Rossi ML, Bonifazzi C, Martini M, Fesce R.
J Gen Physiol. 1989 Aug;94(2):303-27.     Free PMC Article

9.  Synaptophysin (p38) at the frog neuromuscular junction: its incorporation into the axolemma and recycling after intense quantal secretion.
Valtorta F, Jahn R, Fesce R, Greengard P, Ceccarelli B.
J Cell Biol. 1988 Dec;107(6 Pt 2):2717-27.     Free PMC Article

8.  The effect of potassium on exocytosis of transmitter at the frog neuromuscular junction.
Ceccarelli B, Fesce R, Grohovaz F, Haimann C.
J Physiol. 1988 Jul;401:163-83.     Free PMC Article

7.  [Static and dynamic properties of EPSP (excitatory postsynaptic potentials) at the cyto-neural junction of the posterior canal in the labyrinth of the frog].
Rossi ML, Bonifazzi C, Martini M, Fesce R.
Boll Soc Ital Biol Sper. 1988 May;64(5):425-31. Italian. No abstract available.

6.  Effects of black widow spider venom and Ca2+ on quantal secretion at the frog neuromuscular junction.
Fesce R, Segal JR, Ceccarelli B, Hurlbut WP.
J Gen Physiol. 1986 Jul;88(1):59-81.     Free PMC Article

5.  Fluctuation analysis of nonideal shot noise. Application to the neuromuscular junction.
Fesce R, Segal JR, Hurlbut WP.
J Gen Physiol. 1986 Jul;88(1):25-57.     Free PMC Article

4.  Measurement of quantal secretion induced by ouabain and its correlation with depletion of synaptic vesicles.
Haimann C, Torri-Tarelli F, Fesce R, Ceccarelli B.
J Cell Biol. 1985 Nov;101(5 Pt 1):1953-65.     Free PMC Article

3.  Temporal coincidence between synaptic vesicle fusion and quantal secretion of acetylcholine.
Torri-Tarelli F, Grohovaz F, Fesce R, Ceccarelli B.
J Cell Biol. 1985 Oct;101(4):1386-99.     Free PMC Article

2.  Miniature endplate potential frequency and amplitude determined by an extension of Campbell's theorem.
Segal JR, Ceccarelli B, Fesce R, Hurlbut WP.
Biophys J. 1985 Feb;47(2 Pt 1):183-202.     Free PMC Article

1.  Freeze-fracture studies of frog neuromuscular junctions during intense release of neurotransmitter. III. A morphometric analysis of the number and diameter of intramembrane particles.
Fesce R, Grohovaz F, Hurlbut WP, Ceccarelli B.
J Cell Biol. 1980 May;85(2):337-45.     Free PMC Article

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