- Triggering neuroprotective pathways to prevent neurodegeneration: role of estrogen receptor beta/neuroglobin signaling in Huntington disease



Funding body
PRIN 2017
139.333 €

Departments and Centres



Department of Health Sciences


Working group

Francesca Persichetti
Gloria Ros

Project duration

Start date
End date

Huntingdon’s Disease is a hereditary condition affecting the central nervous system and causing the degeneration of neurons in selected cerebral regions. In the absence of an effective cure, the identification of neuroprotective molecules represents a promising way to develop a therapy.

Neuroglobin (NGB) is a protein that provides neuroprotection in various types of cerebral lesions. It is believed that overexpression of this protein helps protect neurons from neurodegenerative diseases. Preliminary data suggests that the levels of NGB are lower for in vivo models of Huntingdon’s Disease. The possibility of increasing NGB levels of neurons affected by neurodegeneration may represent a new therapeutic solution aimed at slowing down the development of the disease.

The project aims to identify molecules that can increase the endogenous NGB levels  in cellular models of Huntington’s Disease. The biological effects of such an increase will be analysed at a later moment, comparing phenotype values of the disease.


The project involves various research departments with different and complementary competences, ranging from chemistry to genetics to cellular pathology. Alongside the Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, these research departments are also involved: Università degli Studi ROMA TRE, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II and Università di Pisa.