1. Profile
  2. Graziano Pinna

Graziano Pinna PhD

Graziano Pinna
  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Psychiatry
  • University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
Contact Information
  • gpinna [at]
  • (312) 355-1464
  • School of Public Health / Psychiatric Institute (SPHPI)
    1601 W. Taylor St.
    SPHPI MC 912
    Chicago IL 60612
  • Room #:409
Website Assistant
  • Marianela Nelson
  • psychiatry
    1. Mechanism of action of antidepressant, anxiolytic, and antiaggressive drugs in several mouse models of affective/cognitive disorders, including aggressive behavior, schizophrenia, and PTSD
    2. Developing new therapies for PTSD and anxiety disorders
    3. Epigenetic mechanisms and psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia
    4. Understanding emotional brain circuits that mediate cognitive and affective processes in PTSD mouse models
    5. Physiological role of neurosteroid allopregnanolone on GABAA receptor function
    6. Pharmacology of GABAA receptor modulators
    7. Mechanisms that lead to anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS)-induced behavioral deficits and the study of molecules that reverse the behavioral and neurochemical dysfunction induced by AAS treatment
    8. Function of GABAA receptors in mouse models of anxiolytic drug tolerance and dependence
  • 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

Title Description Investigator(s) Category Status
Cyclical Neuroactive Steroid Changes, Arousal, and Proximal Suicide Risk: An Experimental Approach R01-NIMH-120843 Experimentally delineating the neurosteroid pathways which may be involved in perimenstrual worsening of depression and suicide risk.  CLEAR – Eisenlohr-Moul Lab On-going