May 29, 2019

15:00 – 17:00- Registration (Sala Gialla, Palace of the Normans, Palermo, Italy)

17:00 – 18:00- Preliminary Address: Carla Cannizzaro Miriam Melis

Opening Cerimony:
Gianfranco Miccichè (President Sicilian Parliament);
Nello Musumeci (President Sicilian government);
Ruggero Razza (Head Regional Health Department);
Fabrizio Micari (Rector of the University of Palermo);
Francesco Vitale (President of the School of Medicine);
Antonio Craxi (Head of PROMISE Department);
Toti Amato (President of the Association of Medical Doctors of Palermo)

18:00 – 19:00- Liana Fattore, Cagliari (Italy), introducing Carolyn Salafia, New York (USA)
Lectio magistralis: Placenta as a marker /mediator of fetal origins of lifelong health risks

19:00- Welcome cocktail


May 30, 2019

8:30 – 10:00- Session 1: Glial-immuno activation from the mother to the foetus
Chaired by: Antonello Bonci, USA- Patrizia Romualdi, Italy

  • Sophie Laye, French National Institute for Agricultural Research: Perinatal lipid nutrition role in brain development and later-life emotional behavior and cognition.
  • Michela Matteoli, Humanitas University, Italy: Immune-synaptopathies: when the immune system affects synapse development and function
  • Tania Marcourakis, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil:Tobacco smoke exposure during pregnancy increases the offspring susceptibility to a neuroinflammatory process
  • Paola Bezzi, University of Lausanne, Switzerland: Dysfunction of homeostatic control of dopamine by astrocytes in the developing prefrontal cortex induces core features of neurodevelopmental disorders

10:00 – 10:30 -Coffee break

10:30 – 12:15 –Session 2: Prenatal exposure to substance of abuse as a risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders
Chaired by: Yasmin Hurd, USA – Miriam Melis, Italy

  • Roh Yu Shen, University at Buffalo, USA: Prenatal ethanol exposure leads to persistent cognitive, emotional, and behavioral deficits rescued by environmental enrichment 
  • Olivier Manzoni, Institute de Neurobiologie de la Méditerranée, France: Effects of perinatal cannabinoids during lifetime
  • Sarah Beggiato,  University of Ferrara, Italy: Prenatal THC exposure permanently disturbs kynurenic acid and glutamate levels and amplifies the responsivity to an acute kynurenine challenge in the rat prefrontal cortex.
  • Elisabetta Gerace, University of Florence, Italy: Chronic Ethanol and Ethanol withdrawal differentially affect the neuronal circuits in immature and mature hippocampal slice cultures.
  • Aranza Wille Bille, University of Cordoba, Argentina: Prenatal Ethanol Exposure induces an anxiety phenotype, enhances voluntary ethanol consumption and alters both DNA methylation and gene expression of kappa opioid system.

12:15- 13:35-Platform presentation I chaired by Claudio D’addario (Italy) and
Michele Navarra (Italy)

Serena Stamatakos, Italy – “Alterations of BDNF and class I HDAC enzymes induced by repeated MDMA   (“ecstasy”) exposure could favour the onset of psychiatric disorders”
Laura Rullo, Italy -“Striatal antioxidant machinery and nigral dopaminergic neurons after MDMA binge   intoxication in the mouse: age and gender influence”
Valeria  Serra, Italy – “Mao-A hypomorphic mice and their vulnerability traits”
Luisa Ponzoni Italy- “Perinatal Deletion Of Shank3 Gene In Pv Positive Neurons Induces Neurological   Alterations Which Are Rescued By Ganaxolone Treatment”
Silvia Bussone, Italy – “Early-life Stress, Global Methylation and Psychopathology”
Lucia Caffino, Italy– “Activity – based anorexia alters the glutamate synapses in adolescent female rats:  focus on the prefrontal cortex”
Filippo Mirabella, Italy – “Inflammation and synaptogenesis: The role of Interleukin-6 in developing neurons”
Francesco Traccis, Italy – “Psychotic-like endophenotype induced by prenatal THC exposure is rectified by   pregnenolone”
Antonia Manduca, France- “Sex-dependent effects of in utero cannabinoid exposure on behavioral and   cortical function”
Fabio Bellia, Italy – “Prenatal alcohol exposure and postpartum alcohol use patterns: preliminary data on  the effects of environment enrichment on transcriptional regulation of relevant key genes”
Andrew Scheyer, France- “Enduring effects of perinatal cannabis exposure”
Mihaela Bobić Rasonja, Croatia – “Transcriptome analysis of the human fetal anterior cingulate gyrus”
Francesca Manuella, Switzerland – “The impact of early life trauma can be reversed by environmental enrichment”

13:35 – 14:30- Light lunch

14:40-15:15- Tour of the Palatin Chapel

15:15 – 17:10- Session 3: Perinatal exposure to prescription drugs: consequences on neurodevelopment
Chaired by: Carla Cannizzaro, Italy – Olivier Manzoni, France

  • Viviana Trezza, Roma Tre University, Italy: Prenatal valproate in rodents as a tool to identify underlying molecular mechanisms and new therapeutic targets for Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Guido Mannaioni, University of Florence, Italy: Functional investigation of the reward striatal system in the valproic acid model of autism 
  • Tim F. Oberlander, University of British Columbia: Prenatal exposure to SSRI antidepressants and the perinatal origins of neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Jodi L. Pawluski, University of Rennes, Inserm, France: Perinatal SSRI exposure effects on social behaviors and neuroplasticity: role of fetal sex
  • Erica Zamberletti, Insumbria University, Italy: Cannabinoid treatment rescues autism-like behaviors and dampens hippocampal microglia activation induced by prenatal valproic acid exposure in rats

17:10 – 17:30- Coffee break

17:30 – 18:30- Micaela Morelli, Cagliari, (Italy) introducing: Yasmin Hurd, Mount Sinai, New York (USA)
Lectio Magistralis – Unlocking the neurobiological impact of developmental cannabis and psychiatric risk

19:30- Charming Palermo – food & music in a secret venue



May 31 ,2019

9:00 – 10:00-Gaetano Di Chiara, Cagliari  (Italy), introducing: Antonello Bonci, Johns Hopkins University; University of Maryland School of Medicine; Georgetown University School of Medicine, Baltimore (USA)
Lectio magistralis: Therapeutic potential of transcranial magnetic stimulation during pregnancy

10:00 – 11:20-Session 4: Role of maternal milieu on offspring vulnerability to develop neuropsychiatric disorders
Chaired by: Sophie Laye, France – Domenico Pellegrini-Giampietro, Italy

  • Muriel Koehl, Neurocentre Magendie, Bordeaux, France: Vulnerability to PTSD-like memory impairments induced by stress in utero
  • Anna Brancato, University of Palermo, Italy: Prenatal cannabinoid stimulation and alcohol vulnerability: an overview   on adolescent offspring
  • Bice Chini, CNR Neuroscience Institute, Italy: The Oxytocin system in the developing brain: evidence from mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Vincenzo Micale, University of Catania, Italy: Behavioral and neurochemical alterations induced by perinatal Δ9-THC exposure are counteracted by early cannabidiol treatment

11:20 – 11:40- Coffee break

11:40 – 13:00- Session 5: Perinatal insults and adversities on neurodevelopmental trajectories
Chaired by: Viviana Trezza, Italy – Christian Chiamulera, Italy

  • Marco Bortolato, Health University of Utah, USA: The interplay of nature and nurture in antisocial behavior: insights from animal models
  • Claire Thornton, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, UK: Exendin-4: targeting an antidiabetic drug at neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury
  • Clarissa Catale, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy: Long-term effects of early-life stressful experiences on brain plasticity: an analysis through perineuronal nets
  • Stefania Schiavone, Foggia University, Italy: Effects of pharmacological NOX-inhibition on neuropathological alterations induced by ketamine administration in early postnatal life

13:00 – 14:00- Light lunch

14:00 – 15:20- Platform presentation II chaired by Daniela Parolaro (Italy) and Giuseppe Crescimanno (Italy)

Samantha Baglot, Canada- Inhaled delivery of cannabis during pregnancy: Pharmacokinetics and level of   exposure in developing offspring
Florencia Anunziata, Argentina- Ethanol’s sensory attributes trigger respiratory disruptions and appetitive   facial responses in human newborns prenatally exposed to maternal binge drinking episodes
Juan P. Luaces, Argentina – Neurorestorative and protective effects of palmitoylethanolamide in perinatal   asphyxia: an analysis of the rat striatum
Julieta P Aguggia, ArgentinaMultiparity dampened the neubehavioral consequences of mother-pup   separation stress in dams
Luca Posa , Canada– Selective melatonin MT2 receptor ligands induce antiallodynic effect  through the descending brainstem antinociceptive pathways modulation and opioid interaction
Rafik Marir  Algérie“Fluorescent ligands to determine the distribution of central rat V1B receptors”
Jessica Duarte , Brazil-“Study of effect of ovariectomy and hormonal replacement on the melanin-concentrating hormone in lactating and non-lactating rats: analysis of the MPOA PVH and IHy”
Theresa M. Kisko, Germany-The effects of Cacna1c haploinsufficiency on maternal behaviour and offspring   anxiety levels in rats.
Salvatore Lecca, Switzerland- Limiting habenular hyperactivity ameliorates maternal separation-driven   depressive-like symptoms
Gianluca Lavanco,  France – Binge drinking during adolescence as a vulnerability factor for migraine? Focus   on Calcitonine gene-related peptide
Maud Martinat, France– Role of dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid in memory and hippocampal   synaptic plasticity in male and female mice
Chiara Boscardin, Switzerland- Transgenerational inheritance of early life trauma
Indrek Heinla , Norway–Perinatal SSRI exposure affects prosocial behavior in adult rats


15:20 – 15:50- Coffee break

15:50 – 17:20- Session 6: Bridging the gap from bench to bed evidence: the emergence of therapeutic strategies
Chaired by: Marco Bortolato, USA – Marco Diana, Italy

  • Eva Redei, Northwestern University, USA: Endocrine and behavioral characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: treatment strategies
  • Omry Koren, Bar-LLan University, Israel: A microbiome is born: how microbes contribute to a healthy pregnancy and infancy
  • Chloe J Jordan, NIDA, Baltimore, USA: Developmental exposure to drugs of abuse: scope of the problem and treatment strategies for impending psychiatric risk
  • Marta Busnelli, CNR Neuroscience Institute, Italy:Targeting the oxytocin system: novel therapeutic agents for neuropsychiatric disorders

17:30 – 18:30- Round Table: Protecting the brain: from scientific evidence to institutional trajectories

Ruggero Razza – Region Councilor of Health
Roberto Lagalla – Region Councilor of Education
Margherita La Rocca Ruvolo – Regional Parliament of Sicily
Salvatore Cuzzocrea (Messina, Italy)
Filippo Drago (Catania, Italy)

20:30- Gala Dinner with Award ceremony and closing remarks