Ramona Meanti


I obtained a degree in Biotechnology at the University of Milano-Bicocca in 2015 and the master’s degree in Medical Biotechnology in 2018. The master’s thesis was based on the evaluation of the neuroprotective effects of the association of Growth Hormone Secretagogues (GHS) and glycosaminoglycans in in vitro models of glutamate-induced toxicity. I was Visiting Researcher at the Pharmacology lab of prof. Vittorio Locatelli in the University of Milano-Bicocca from March 2018 to October 2018. From November 2018 I attended a research doctorate in Experimental Neuroscience at the University of Milano-Bicocca, where I continued my master’s thesis project studying the effects of GHS in in vitro models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).


Neuroprotective effect of Growth Hormone Secretagogues and glycosaminoglycans association in in vitro models of ALS

  • Track: Experimental Neuroscience
  • Tutor: Lucio Tremolizzo
  • Supervisor: Antonio Torsello

Growth hormone secretagogues (GHS) are a family of synthetic molecules endowed of endocrine functions, like the ability to stimulate growth hormone (GH) release, and different extraendocrine properties. Among them, GHS are able to inhibit cell apoptosis and protect muscle cells from mitochondrial damage, to induce the stimulation of food intake but also have anticonvulsivant and anti-inflammatory effects. 

We will evaluate the possible neuroprotective effects of Hexarelin, EP80317 and JMV2894, three well-known GHS, in in vitro models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 

We will also assess the crosstalk of ALS cell models and N9 cells, trying to understand how microglia modulate the GHS effects.

Publications, congress presentations and courses


  • Bianchi VE, Bresciani E, Meanti R*, Rizzi L, Omeljaniuk RJ, Torsello A. “The Role of Androgens in Women’s Health and Wellbeing”.  Pharmacological Research. 2021-07. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105758. Review.
  • Meanti R, Rizzi L, Bresciani E, Molteni L, Locatelli V, Coco S, Omeljaniuk RJ, Torsello A. Hexarelin Modulation of MAPK and PI3K/Akt Pathways in Neuro-2A Cells Inhibits Hydrogen Peroxide—Induced Apoptotic Toxicity”. Pharmaceuticals. 2021; 14(5):444. doi: 10.3390/ph14050444.
  • D’Aloia A, Molteni L, Gullo F, Bresciani E, Artusa V, Rizzi L, Ceriani M, Meanti R, Lecchi M, Coco S, Costa B, Torsello A. “Palmitoylethanolamide Modulation of Microglia Activation: Characterization of Mechanisms of Action and Implication for Its Neuroprotective Effects”. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(6):3054. doi: 10.3390/ijms22063054.
  • Zambelli V, Rizzi L, Delvecchio P, Bresciani E, Molteni L, Meanti R, Pascal V, Fehrentz JA, Omeljaniuk RJ, Bellani G, Torsello A. “JMV5656, a short synthetic derivative of TLQP-21, alleviates acid-induced lung injury and fibrosis in mice”. Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Jun;62:101916. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2020.101916. Epub 2020 Mar 20. PMID: 32205280.
  • Bresciani E, Possenti R, Coco S, Rizzi L, Meanti R, Molteni L, Locatelli V, Torsello A. “TLQP-21, A VGF-Derived Peptide Endowed of Endocrine and Extraendocrine Properties: Focus on In Vitro Calcium Signaling.” Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Dec 24;21(1). pii: E130. doi: 10.3390/ijms21010130. Review.
  • Bresciani E, Rizzi L, Coco S, Molteni L, Meanti R, Locatelli V, Torsello A.  “Growth Hormone Secretagogues and the Regulation of Calcium Signaling in Muscle”. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Sep 5;20(18). pii: E4361. doi: 10.3390/ijms20184361. Review.
  • Bresciani E, Saletti C, Squillace N, Rizzi L, Molteni L, Meanti R, Omeljaniuk RJ, Biagini G, Gori A, Locatelli V, Torsello A. “miRNA-218 Targets Lipin-1 and Glucose Transporter Type 4 Genes in 3T3-L1 Cells Treated With Lopinavir/Ritonavir.” Front Pharmacol. 2019 Apr 30;10:461. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00461. eCollection 2019.
  • Molteni L, Rizzi L, Bresciani E, Meanti R, Fehrentz JA, Verdié P, Omeljaniuk RJ, Biagini G, Locatelli V, Torsello A.  “STIM Proteins and Orai Ca2+ Channels Are Involved in the Intracellular Pathways Activated by TLQP-21 in RAW264.7 Macrophages.” Front Pharmacol. 2018 Nov 27;9:1386. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.01386. eCollection 2018.

Congress presentations

  • “II EDITION. MORE THAN NEURONS: toward a less neuronocentric view of brain disorders”, 29 novembre e 1 dicembre 2018, Torino
  • “New perspective in neuroscience: research results of young Italian neuroscientist”, 1 marzo 2019, Napoli
  • “18th national congress of the Italian society for neuroscience”, 26-29 settembre 2019, Perugia
  • “39° congress nazionale della società italiana di farmacologia”, 20-23 novembre 2019, Firenze
  • “NeuroMI 2020”, 18 dicembre 2020
  • “40° Congresso Nazionale della SIF – Il valore scientifico e l’uso appropriato del farmaco”, 9-13 marzo 2021

Workshop attendance

  • “The new nutrition era: from molecular mechanisms to human health”, 12 aprile 2018, IFOM-IEO, Milano
  • “Glial cells and therapeutic perspectives: from maladaptive plasticity to neurorestoration”, 29 giugno 2018, Università di Firenze, Firenze
  • “Il metabolismo dell’RNA nelle malattie neurologiche. Apporto degli RNA non codificanti alla regolazione genica”, 6 luglio 2018, IRCCS Fondazione Mondino, Pavia
  • “Interaction between nanomaterials and the immune system: medical exploitations and safety issues”, 9-10 luglio 2018, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milano
  • “Open day delle 3RS (Refinement, Reduction, Replacement), 31 ottobre 2018, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milano
  • “Brain stimulation and brain plasticity: from basic research to clinical practice”, 21-23 novembre 2018, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milano
  • “Corso base per tutte le figure professionali coinvolte nell’utilizzo di animali (roditori e lagomorfi) ai fini scientifici e educative”, 10-11-12-13 dicembre 2018 e 13-14 giugno 2019, IZSLER di Milano e di Brescia.
  • “Corso teorico-pratico sulla microscopia”, 21-22 ottobre 2019, Università di Milano-Bicocca
  • “XXII SIF seminar on pharmacology”, 19-20 novembre 2019, Firenze
  • “Malattie rare e farmaci orfani”, 1 febbraio 2020, Università di Milano-Bicocca
  • “Tutoring: How to get the best out of yourself and others”, 12 settembre 2020, Università di Milano-Bicocca
  • “Motor Neuron Diseases: understanding the pathogenetic mechanisms to develop therapies”, 6-7 novembre 2020, Università degli Studi di Torino
  •  “XXIII SIF Seminar on Pharmacology for PhD Students, Fellows, Post Doc and Specialist Trainees.”, 8 marzo 2021

Further info