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Graziano Pinna, PhD

Department of Psychiatry
University of Illinois at Chicago
1601 W. Taylor Street Room 409 ,
Chicago, IL 60612
Office Phone: 312-355-1464
E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Assistant: Marianela Nelson

Agis-Balboa RC, Guidotti A, and Pinna G: Allopregnanolone biosynthesis is downregulated in the prefrontal cortex/Brodmann’s area 9 (BA9) of depressed patients. Psychopharmacology. Submitted.

Pinna G: Targeting neurosteroidogenesis as therapy for PTSD. Frontiers in Pharmacology. Submitted.

Pinna G and Rasmusson AM: Upregulation of neurosteroid biosynthesis as a pharmacological strategy to improve behavioral deficits in a putative mouse model of PTSD. J. Neuroendocrinology. 24:102-16. 2012

Schüler Nin M, Martinez LA, Pibiri F, Nelson M and Pinna G: Neurosteroids reduce social isolation-induced behavioral deficits: a proposed link with neurosteroid-mediated upregulation of BDNF expression. Front. Endocrin. 2:73. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2011.00073. 2011

Nelson M and Pinna G: S-norfluoxetine infused into the basolateral amygdala increases allopregnanolone levels and reduces aggression in socially isolated mice. Neuropharmacology. 60:1154-1159. 2011

Pinna G: In a mouse model relevant for PTSD, selective brain steroidogenic stimulants (SBSSs) improve behavioral deficits by normalizing allopregnanolone biosynthesis. Behavioural Pharmacology. 21:438-450. 2010.

Pinna G, Costa E, and Guidotti A: SSRIs act as selective brain steroidogenic stimulants (SBSSs) at low doses that are inactive on 5-HT reuptake. Current Opinions in Pharmacology 9:24-30. 2009.

Pinna G, Agis-Balboa R, Pibiri F, Nelson M, Guidotti A, and Costa E: Neurosteroid biosynthesis regulates sexually dimorphic fear and aggressive behavior in mice. Neurochemical Research. 33:1990-2007. 2008.

Pibiri F, Nelson M, Costa E, Guidotti A, and Pinna G: Decreased corticolimbic allopregnanolone expression during social isolation enhances contextual fear: A model relevant for posttraumatic stress disorder. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105:5567-5572. 2008. (media release: Click here.)

Agís-Balboa RC, Pinna G, Pibiri F, Kadriu B, Costa E, and Guidotti A: Downregulation of 5a-reductase type I mRNA expression in cortico-limbic glutamatergic neurons in socially-isolated mice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 104:18736-18741. 2007. (media release: Click here)

Pinna G, Agis Balboa RC, Zhubi A, Matsumoto K, Grayson DR, Costa E and Guidotti A: Imidazenil and diazepam increase locomotor activity in mice exposed to protracted social isolation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103:4275-4280. 2006.

Pinna G, Costa E, and Guidotti: Fluoxetine and norfluoxetine stereospecifically and selectively increase brain neurosteroid content at doses inactive on 5-HT reuptake. Psychopharmacology. 186:362-372. 2006.

Agis-Balboa RC, Pinna G, Zhubi A, Veldic M, Costa E and Guidotti A: Location and expression of brain enzymes catalyzing neurosteroid biosynthesis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103:14602-14607. 2006.

Rasmusson AM, Pinna G, Weisman D, Paliwal P, Gottschalk C, Charney D, Krystal J and Guidotti A: Decreased cerebrospinal fluid allopregnanolone levels in women with PTSD. Biol. Psychiatry. 60: 704-713. 2006.

Pinna G, Costa E, and Guidotti A: Changes in brain testosterone and allopregnanolone elicit aggressive behavior. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102:2135-2140. 2005.

Pinna G, Costa E and Guidotti A: Fluoxetine and norfluoxetine stereospecifically facilitate pentobarbital sedation by increasing neurosteroids. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101:6222-6225. 2004.

Pinna G, Dong E, Matsumoto K, Costa E and Guidotti A: In socially isolated mice, the reversal of brain allopregnanolone down-regulation mediates the anti-aggressive action of fluoxetine. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100:2035-2040. 2003


Associate Professor


mouse models of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); investigating the mechanism of action of antidepressants; developing new efficacious therapies for anxiety disorders and PTSD


American Medical Association; American Psychiatric Association; Illinois Psychiatric Society; Chicago Medical Society; American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology


Testing new therapies for PTSD; unveiling biomarkers of anxiety disorders and PTSD





  1. Ambulatory Clinic:
    Neuropsychiatric Insitute
    912 S. Wood Steet, Chicago, IL 60612
  2. UIC Hospital
    1740 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60612
  3. Institute for Juvenile Research
    1747 W. Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608
  4. Psychiatric Institute
    1601 W. Taylor St.Chicago, IL 60612

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