Effect of environmental and hormonal factors
on lipid metabolism in the developing brain

Team of work

Astiz, Mariana
Principal Investigator
Arnal, Nathalie

Collaborators from other institutions


  Dr. García Segura, Luis Miguel
  Departamento de Neurobiología Funcional y de Sistemas, Instituto Cajal, Madrid, España.

  Dra. Diz-Chaves, Yolanda
 Instituto de Biomedicina de Vigo, Ourense y Pontevedra (IVIB), CINBIO, Universidad de Vigo, Pontevedra, España.

  Dr. Oster, Henrik
  Chronophysiology group, Medical department I, University of Lübeck, Alemania.


Dra. Zarate, Sandra
Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas (INBIOMED), Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Line overview

The present line of work investigates the role of environmental factors such as stress, diet, and endocrine disruptors as agents that program the development of the central nervous system (CNS) focused on lipid metabolism.

Animal models are used such as rats and mice, and cultured cells (cellular lines and primary cultures). The animals are operated with protocols of chronic/acute stress, synthetic diets, or treated with environmental contaminants such as copper or frequently used agrochemicals (glyphosate, dimethoate, zineb) during the development. It is studied the lipid metabolism in the mitochondria, the role of steroid hormones, the induction of inflammatory events and programmed cellular death). 

The objective of this line of work is to describe the impact of adverse environmental conditions at the level of metabolism of mitochondrial lipids in the brain and to identify cellular targets that give us the possibility of rehearsing preventive or therapeutic strategies based on the administration of antioxidants, hormones and gene transfer with neuroprotective effects.

  • Role of cardiolipin and its metabolism in the mechanism of programmed cellular death in cultured cells and animals exposed to environmental pollutants.
  • Metabolism of fatty acids and complex lipids during the developments of the central nervous system. Sexual differences.
  • Neuroinflammatory effect of agrochemicals widely used in our country.
  • Effect of nutritional conditions and environmental factors as endocrine disruptors.




  • Rodent Models for the Analysis of Tissue Clock Function in Metabolic Rhythms Research. Tsang, A. H; Astiz, M; Leinweber, B; Oster, H.
    2017. Frontiers in endocrinology. Lausanne: Frontiers. vol. 8:27

  • Developmental Sex Differences in the Metabolism of Cardiolipin in Mouse Cerebral Cortex Mitochondria.
    Acaz-Fonseca, E; Ortiz-Rodriguez, A; Lopez-Rodriguez, A. B; Garcia-Segura, L. M; Astiz, M.
    2017. Scientific reports. London: Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. vol. 7, Article number: 43878

  • Hormone deprivation alters mitochondrial function and lipid profile in the hippocampus.
    Zárate, S; Astiz, M; Magnani, N; Imsen, M; Merino, F; Álvarez, S; Reinés, A; Seilicovich, A.
    Journal of endocrinology. Bristol: BIOSCIENTIFICA LTD. vol. 233, p. 1-14. ISSN 0022-0795

  • Dietary fats significantly influence the survival of penumbral neurons in a rat model of chronic ischemic by modifying lipid mediators, inflammatory biomarkers, NOS production, and redox-dependent apoptotic signals.
    Lausada, N; Arnal, N; Astiz, M; Marin, C; Lofeudo, J. M; Stringa, P; Alaníz, M. J. T. De; Gomez Dumm, N. T. De; Hurtado De Catalfo, G; Cristalli, N; Pallanza, C; Illara, E; Bozzarello, E; Cristalli, D; Marra, C. A.
    2015. Nutrition. , Amsterdam: ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. vol. 31, p. 1430-1442. ISSN 0899-9007
  • High fat diet alters the neuroinflammatory response in the hippocampus and the hypothalamus of non-obese male mice with regional specificity.
    Astiz, M; Pernía, O; García-Segura, L. M; Diz-Chaves, Y.
    Neuroendocrinology, (in press).
  • Dietary fats significantly influence the survival of penumbral neurons in a permanent isquemic stroke rat model by modifying lipid mediators, inflammatory biomarkers, NOs production, and redox-dependent apoptotic signals.
    Lausada, N; Arnal, N; Astiz, M; Marín, M. C; Lofeudo, J. M; Stringa, P; Tacconi de Alaniz, M. J; Tacconi de Gómez Dumm, N; Hurtado de Catalfo, G; Cristalli, N; Pallanza, M. C; Illara, M. E; Bozzarello, E. G; Cristalli, D. O; Marra, C. A.
    2015. Nutrition, (in press).
  • Gene therapy and cell reprogramming for the aging brain: achievements and promise.
    >Pardo, J; Morel, G. R; Schwerdt, J. I; López León, M; Astiz, M; Rodríguez, S. S; Hereñú, C. B; Goya, R. G.
    2014. Current Gene Therapy, 14(1), 24-34
  • Sex differences and effects of estrogenic compounds on the expression of inflammatory molecules by astrocytes exposed to the insecticide dimethoate.
    Astiz, M; Acaz-Fonseca, E; García-Segura, L. M.
    2014. Neurotoxicity Research, 25(3), 271-285
  • Sub-chronic exposure to the insecticide dimethoate induces a proinflammatory status and enhances the neuroinflammatory response to bacterial lypopolysaccharide in the hippocampus and striatum of male mice.
    Astiz, M; Diz-Chaves, Y; Garcia-Segura, L. M.
    2013. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 272(2), 263-271
  • Pesticide-induced decrease in rat testicular steroidogenesis is differentially prevented by lipoate and tocopherol.
    Astiz, M; Hurtado de Catalfo, G. E; García, M. N; Galletti, S. M; Errecalde, A. L; de Alaniz, M. J; Marra, C. A.
    2013. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 91, 129-38
  • Prenatal stress increases the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and exacerbates the inflammatory response to LPS in the hippocampal formation of adult males mice.
    Diz Chaves, Y; Astiz, M; Bellini, M. J; Garcia Segura, L. M.
    2013. Brain Behav. Immun 28 196-206
  • The oxidative damage and inflammation caused bby pesticides are reverted by lipoic acid in the rat brain.
    Astiz, M; Alaniz, M. J. T. de; Marra, C. A.
    2012. Neurochem. Int. 61(7) 1231-41
  • Exogenous arachidonate restores the dimethoate-induced inhibition of steroidogenesis in rat interstitial cells.
    Astiz, M; Hurtado de Catalfo, G. E; Alaniz, M. J. T. de; Marra, C. A.
    2012. Lipids 47(6) 557-69

INIBIOLP - Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas de La Plata "Profesor Doctor Rodolfo R. Brenner"
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas - Facultad de Ciencias Médicas - U.N.L.P.
Avenida 60 y 120 - C.P. 1900 La Plata - Prov. de Buenos Aires - Argentina. Tel. 54-221-4824894 - Fax. 54-221-4258988 - E-mail :