Angelo POLETTI, Ph.D.
Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences (DiSFeB)
Centre of Excellence on Neurodegenerative Diseases
University of Milan (Italy)


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Dr. Angelo POLETTI is Full Professor of Applied Biology at the University of Milan, Italy.
He received his Ph.D. in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Technology (1984), a Master degree in Experimental Endocrinology (1987) and a Post-doctoral degree in Endocrinological Sciences (1993) at the University of Milan, Italy.
He spent a postdoctoral fellowship period of three years (1990-1992), at the Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.
He is now working at the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences (DiSFeB)
e Centre of Excellence on Neurodegenerative Diseases
He teaches 'Biology' and 'Cell and molecular biology' at the University of Milan, Italy.

Current address:
Angelo Poletti Ph.D.
Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences (DiSFeB)
Centre of Excellence on Neurodegenerative Diseases
University of Milan
via Balzaretti 9, 20133, Milano - ITALY
ph. (off.) +39-02-5031.8215 / (lab.) +39-02-5031.8227
fax +39-02-5031.8204

Principal areas of investigation: Dr. Angelo POLETTI is studying the effects of steroid hormones in the central nervous system. The main projects presently running in Dr. Poletti's laboratory are the following:

1) Motoneuronal degeneration in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy (SBMA or Kennedy's disease). Determination of the neurotoxic effects induced by the mutation of the androgen receptor (elongation of the polyglutamic tract in the N-terminal transactivation domain of AR) in Kennedy's disease; preparation of cellular models of SBMA using immortalized motoneuronal cells transfected with the cDNAs coding for the mutated androgen receptors  ( more references )

2) Motoneuronal degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Using cellular models similar to those described in point 1, but obtained with cDNA coding for the wt and mutated form of the Superoxyde dismutase (SOD1) responsible for a number of familiar ALS.

3) Effect of androgens and estrogens on LHRH-secreting hypothalamic neurons (immortalized GT1 cells). Androgen and estrogen receptors have been detected in the LHRH-secreting cell line GT1, indicating that gonadal steroids may directly control the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. The androgen-responsiveness of GT1 cells is increased by the presence of the enzyme 5alpha-reductase type 2 (usually detectable at high levels only in androgen-dependent structures), which converts testosterone into the most potent natural androgenic compound, the Dihydrotestosterone.

4) Intracerebral formation of 3keto, delta4 steroids (androgens, progesterone, corticoids) to 5alpha-reduced compounds, active both on classical intracellular receptors (AR, PR, GR, MR) and on membrane receptors (5alpha-reduced, 3alpha-hydroxylated steroids, modulators of the GABAa receptor). Mechanism of action of the anesthetic/anxiolytic steroids.

5) Effects of gonadal steroids on motoneuronal functions. Characterization of androgen and estrogen receptors in cultured motoneuronal cells. Characterization of steroid-inducible genes (androgen or estrogen dependent) in motoneurons using the Differential display-polymerase chain reaction technique.

6) Androgenic control of prostate cancer cell growth. Analysis of the mechanisms of action of the androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells.


see this web site for more details

androgen receptor mutation database

Research team:

Angelo Poletti

Collaborators (Assistant Professor and Research Associate)
Paola Rusmini
Rita Galbiati
Margherita Piccolella

Post Docs & PhD Students

Valeria Crippa
Alessandra Boncoraglio
Elisa Giorgetti
Riccardo Cristofani



Selection of most recent papers