Morris Losurdo

Born on March 26, 1990, I obtained the Bachelor of Science degree in “Biological Sciences” from the University of Pavia in 2012 and the Master of Science degree in “Neurobiology” with honours in 2014, investigating the role of microglia in the modulation of physiological and pathological plasticity in the dorsal cochlear nuclei of rat tinnitus model. The interest for the research in the nervous system as well as the curiosity to fully understand the behavior and the ultimate purpose of the different functions of microglia – whose role was eclipsed for too long – in the brain, led me to embark on the path of the PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Milano-Bicocca in 2015. Under the supervision of PhD Silvia Coco I am investigating the immunomodulatory potential of Mesenchymal Stem Cell derived – Extracellular Vesicles in dampening inflammatory processes associated to Alzheimer’s Disease.


A new hope for Alzheimer’s disease from preconditioned bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles: analysis of the immunomodulatory effects

  • Track: Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Tutor: Silvia Coco

Although inflammation represents a defence reaction to remove noxious stimuli, in different pathological contexts, such as Alzheimer’s disease, the inflammatory process might become uncontrolled and chronic, leading to the alteration of the normal brain functions. Microglia – the brain resident macrophages- is the principal candidate contributing to orchestrate innate immune response and possesses the ability to react to minimal changes of the microenvironment, switching its phenotype between different activated states that can exacerbate (M1 state) or dampen (M2 state) the inflammatory process.

Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSCs) have aroused great interest for their therapeutic potential in various inflammation-related diseases in virtue of their potent immunosuppressive capacity that mainly depends on paracrine mechanisms. Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) – such as exosomes and microvesicles – are largely released by MSCs and have been reported to exert beneficial effects in different pathological contexts, being considered among the tools by which MSCs can accomplish their immunoregulatory actions. EVs differ in biogenesis, composition, size, content and release pathways and may represent a novel type of cell-free therapy.

Our project aims at characterizing MSC phenotype by using ex vivo strategies to boost their immunosuppressive properties in order to potentiate MSC-derived EV immunomodulatory abilities, to be tested on microglia cells. In vivo models of Alzheimer’s disease are also being using to investigate the effects on other glial cell type (astrocytes) and neurons.

Since the feasibility and safety of a clinical use of MSC-EVs have been demonstrated in several studies, their employment as mediators and regulators of immunity might represent widespread therapeutic applications also for central nervous system diseases.



  • G. Desiato, M. Losurdo, C. Elia, A. Saccomano, S. Coco: “Unravelling Mesenchymal Stem Cell Signature In Regenerative Medicine” Frontiers in Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research, 2017 Ebk Series – ebook chapter submitted for publication.


  •  Losurdo, A. Saccomano, M. Pedrazzoli, E. Lonati, L. Rizzi, L. Molteni, C. Elia, E. Dander, F. Pischiutta, G. D’amico, A. Torsello, E.R. Zanier, M. Matteoli, A. Bulbarelli, M. Buffelli, S. Coco: “Analysis Of The Immunomodulatory Potential Of Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles In A Model Of Alzheimer’s Disease”, AD/PD Focus Meeting: “Advances in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Therapy”, Poster session (A2.f/022) – Turin, March 15-18, 2018
  • M. Losurdo, A. Saccomano, E.Lonati, L. Nardo, L. Rizzi, L. Molteni, M. Mauri, C. Elia, E. Dander, F. Pischiutta, G. D’amico, A. Torsello, E.R. Zanier, M. Matteoli, A. Bulbarelli, S. Coco: “Characterization of the Immunomodulatory Effects of Differently Preconditioned Mesenchymal Stem Cells And Their Derived Extracellular Vesicles In An Experimental Inflammatory Contex ”, XVII National Congress of the Italian Neuroscience Society (SINS), Poster Session (05/01) – Ischia (NA), October 1-4, 2017
  • M. Losurdo, A. Saccomano, L. Rizzi, L. Molteni, C. Elia, E. Dander, F. Pischiutta, G. D’amico, A. Torsello, E.R. Zanier, M. Matteoli, S. Coco: “Study Of The Immunomodulatory Effects Of Mesenchymal Stem Cells-Derived Extracellular Vesicles In An Experimental Pathological Context” Poster Session (P27): Convegno Nazionale dei Dottorandi di Neuroscienze: “New Perspectives in Neuroscience: Research Results of Young Italian Neuroscientists”, SINS – Naples, February 24, 2017
  • Partecipation at bioSKILLS congress: “Aggiornamenti e nuove prospettive delle terapie avanzate: immunoterapia e medicina rigenerativa”- Milan, October 23, 2017
  • Partecipation at bioSKILLS congress: “Terapie avanzate: novità dalla sperimentazione ed aggiornamenti sulla produzione dei medicinali biologici” – Milan, October 3, 2016
  • Partecipation at the workshop: “Nuove Frontiere Nella Caratterizzazione Chimico-Fisica dei Sistemi Biomolecolari” Alfatest, Monza (MB), September 16, 2016
  • C. A. Elia ,S. Marchetti, M. Losurdo, A. Saccomano, M. Rasile, M. Tamborini, M. Matteoli, S. Coco: “Extracellular Vesicles Isolated From Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells Induce An Anti-Inflammatory Phenotype In Microglia Exposed To Human Aβ” – Selected for oral presentation in the session “interdisciplinary oral communication” of Second International Meeting Of The Milan Center For Neuroscience (NEUROMI): “Prediction And Prevention Of Dementia: New Hope” – Milan, July 6-8, 2016. Abstract published on J Alzheimers Dis. 2016 Jun 24;53 Suppl 1:S1-S74. doi: 10.3233/JAD-169002
  • Partecipation at 7th Meeting FIRST (Forum of Italian Researchers On Mesenchymal and Stromal Stem Cells), Mario Negri – Institute for Pharmacological Research – Milan, May 13, 2016


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