Nicoletta Gagliano, PhD

Director of the Extracellular Matrix Lab
Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health
University of Milan
Milan, Italy


Dr. Gagliano graduated in Biological Scences at the University of Milan in 1992. From 1992 till 2002 her research activity was carried out at the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Gerontology and Geriatrics Chair of the University of Milan, Department of Internal Medicine as PhD and post doc student.
In 1998 she obtained the PhD degree in Physiopathology of Aging at the University of Milan, Italy. From 2002 to 2010 she was an Assistant Professor of Human Anatomy and since 2010 she is an Associate Professor of Histology at the Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health of the University of Milan.

Research Interest

Dr. Gagliano is the Director of the Extracellular Matrix Lab at the Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health of the University of Milan, Italy. She is a molecular biologist with high experience in cell cultures, gene and protein expression analysis, and morphologic methods.
The field of research is related to the study of the expression of genes and proteins involved in extracellular matrix remodeling and collagen turnover in different pathological conditions, such as fibrosis, gingival overgrowth, tumor invasion, tendon pathology. Recently, the main field of interest was mainly focused on the study of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition during the carcinogenesis process, with particular attention to the analysis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells phenotype and their cross-talk with the stroma extracellular matrix.

Scientific Activities


• (2003) “H.M.Goldman” award for the best research presentation at the XI International Congress of the Italian Society of Parodontology


• (1998-2012) Member, Italian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics
• (2002) Member, Italian Society of Anatomy and Histology
• (2004) Member, Italian Society for the Study of Connective Tissue
• (2013) Member, Italian Society of Muscles Ligaments & Tendons (ISMULT)



1. Arosio B, Santambrogio D, Gagliano N, Annoni G. Changes in expression of the albumin, fibronectin and type I procollagen genes in CCl4-induced liver fibrosis: Effect of pyridoxol L,2-pyrrolidon-5 carboxylate. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, Pharmacology & Toxicology. 1993; 73: 301-304.
2. Arosio B, Santambrogio D, Gagliano N, Annoni G. MRNA levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-) in the spleen of aged rats in physiological conditions and of septic shock: possible role of Pidotimod in the modulation of gene expression. Drugs under Experimental and Clinical Research. 1993; 109: 9-14.
3. Annoni G, Arosio B, Santambrogio D, Cullurà D, Gagliano N, Uslenghi C. Gene expression for interleukin-2 and Tumor Necrosis Factor- in the spleen of old rats under physiological condition and during septic shock. Arzneim. Forsch/Drug Res. 1994; 44: 1433-1436.
4. Annoni G, Arosio B, Santambrogio D, Gagliano N, Vergani C. Pro-alpha2(i) collagen and Transforming Growth Factor-beta 1 gene expression in the myocardial hypertrophy of the old rat. Annals of the New York Academy of science: Cardiac Growth and Regeneration. 1995; 752: 426-428. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1995.tb17451.x
5. Arosio B, Santambrogio D, Gagliano N, et al. Glutathione pretreatment lessens the acute liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology (Pharmacology & Toxicology). 1997; 81: 164-168.
6. Annoni G, Luvarà G, Arosio B, et al. Age-dependent expression of fibrosis-related genes and collagen deposition in the rat myocardium. Mech. Ageing Dev. 1998; 101: 57-72. doi: 10.1016/S0047-6374(97)00165-6
7. Masson S, Arosio B, Luvarà G, et al. Remodelling of cardiac extracellular matrix during -adrenergic stimulation: up-regulation of SPARC in the myocardium of adult rats. J.Mol.Cell.Cardiol. 1998; 30: 1505-1514. doi: 10.1006/jmcc.1998.0714
8. Masson S, Arosio B, Fiordaliso F, et al. Left ventricular response to -adrenergic stimulation in aging rats. J.Gerontol. 2000; 55A: B35-B41.
9. Gagliano N, Arosio B, Santambrogio D, et al. Age-dependent expression of fibrosis-related genes and collagen deposition in rat kidney cortex. J.Gerontol. 2000; 55: B365-B372. doi: 10.1093/gerona/55.8.B365
10. Arosio B, Gagliano N, Fusaro LMP, et al. Aloe-Emodin Quinone pretreatment lessens acute liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology (Pharmacology & Toxicology. 2000; 87: 229-233.
11. Masson S, Chimenti S, Salio M, et al. CHF-1024, a DA2/2 agonist, blunts norepinephrine excretion and cardiac fibrosis in pressure overload. Cardiovasc. Drugs.Ther. 2001; 15: 131-138.
12. Gioia M, Galbiati S, Rigamonti L, Moscheni C, Gagliano N. Extracellular-signal regulated kinases (erks) 1 and 2 phosphorilalated neurons in the tele- and diencephalon of rat after visceral pain stimulation: an immunocytochemical study. Neurosci. Lett. 2001; 308: 177-180. doi: 10.1016/S0304-3940(01)02008-0
13. Dalle Donne I, Rossi R, Giustarini D, et al. Actin carbonylation: from simple marker of protein oxidation to relevant sign of severe functional impairment. Free Radic.Biol.Med. 2001; 31: 1075-1083. doi: 10.1016/S0891-5849(01)00690-6
14. Gagliano N, Arosio B, Grizzi F, et al. Reduced collagenolytic activity of matrix metalloproteinases and development of liver fibrosis in the aging rat. Mech. Ageing Dev. 2002; 123: 413-425. doi: 10.1016/S0047-6374(01)00398-0
15. Dalle Donne I, Rossi R, Giustarini D, et al. Methionine oxidation as a major cause of the functional impairment of oxidized actin. Free Rad. Biol.Med. 2002; 32: 927-937. doi: 10.1016/S0891-5849(02)00799-2
16. Grizzi F, Franceschini B, Gagliano N, et al. Mast cells density: a quantitative index of liver acute inflammation. Anal. Quant. Cytol. Histol. 2002; 24: 63-69.
17. Gagliano N, Arosio B, Grizzi F, Vergani C, Annoni G. Acute liver CCl4 intoxication causes low HSP70 gene expression and a delayed transition through the cell cycle in aged rats. Exp. Gerontol. 2002; 37: 791-801. doi: 10.1016/S0531-5565(02)00022-0
18. Grizzi F, Franceschini B, Gagliano N, et al. Mast cell density, hepatic stellate cell activation and TGF-1 transcript in aging rat during early acute liver injury. Toxicol. Pathol. 2003; 31: 173-178.
19. Stabellini G, De Mattei M, Calastrini C, et al. Effects of interleukin-1ß on chondroblast viability and extracellular matrix changes in bovine articular cartilage explants. Biomed. Pharmacother. 2003; 57: 314-319. doi: 10.1016/S0753-3322(03)00038-6
20. Gioia M, Moscheni C, Galbiati S, Gagliano N. Immunocytochemical localization of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 phosphorylated neurons in the brainstem of rat following visceral noxious stimulation. Neurosci. Lett. 2003; 349: 167-170.
21. Stabellini G, Calastrini C, Gagliano N, et al. Polyamine levels and ornithine decarboxylase activity in blood and erythrocytes in human diseases. Int. J. Clin.Pharm. Res. 2003; 23: 17-22.
22. Grizzi F, Chiriva-Internati M, Franceschini B, et al. Sperm protein 17 is expressed in human somatic ciliated epithelia. J.Histochem.Cytochem. 2004; 52: 549-554. doi: 10.1177/002215540405200414
23. Stabellini G, Calastrini C, Becchetti A, et al. Megaesophagus in asthamatic patient and 2 stimulant treatment by inhalation. Biomed. Pharmacother. 2004; 58: 194- 195. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2003.10.003
24. Stabellini G, Calastrini C, Mariani G, et al. Extracellular glycosaminoglycan changes in healty and overgrown gingiva fibroblasts after cyclosporin A and cytokine treatments. J. Oral Pathol. Med. 2004; 33: 346-353. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2004.00217.x
25. Gagliano N, Moscheni C, Dellavia C, et al. Effect of cyclosporin A on human gingival fibroblast collagen turnover in relation to the development of gingival overgrowth: an in vitro study. Biomed. Pharmacother. 2004; 58: 231-238.
26. Gagliano N, Moscheni C, Dellavia C, Stabellini G, Ferrario VF, Gioia M. Immunosuppression and gingival overgrowth: gene and protein expression profiles of collagen turnover in FK506- treated human gingival fibroblasts. J. Clin. Periodontol. 2005; 32: 167-173. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2005.00654.x
27. Mattei MD, Gagliano N, Moscheni C, et al. Changes in polyamines, c-myc and c-fos gene expression in osteoblast-like cells exposed to pulsed electromagnetic fields. Bioelectromagnetics. 2005; 26: 207-214. doi: 10.1002/bem.20068
28. Gagliano N, Moscheni C, Torri C, et al. Differential effect of cyclosporin a and FK506 on SPARC mRNA expression by human gingival fibroblasts. Biomed. Pharmacother. 2005; 59: 249-252.
29. Gioia M, Moscheni C, Gagliano N. Distribution of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 activated neurons in the rat periaqueductal gray matter after noxious stimulation. Anat. Rec. 2005; 284A: 460-465. doi: 10.1002/ar.a.20188
30. Stabellini G, Moscheni C, Gagliano N, et al. Depletion of polyamines and increase of transforming growth factor-1, c-myc, collagen type I, metalloproteinase-1, and metalloproteinase-2 mRNA in primary human gingival fibroblasts. J. Periodontol. 2005; 76: 443-449. doi: 10.1902/jop.2005.76.3.443
31. Bertelli AAE, Migliori M, Filippi C, et al. Effect of Ethanol and Red Wine on Ochratoxin A-induced Experimental Acute Nephrotoxicity. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2005; 53: 6924-6929. doi: 10.1021/jf050609p
32. Gagliano N, Moscheni C, Torri C, Magnani I, Bertelli AA, Gioia M. Effect of resveratrol on matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC) on human cultured glioblastoma cells. Biomed. Pharmacother. 2005; 59: 359-364.
33. Donetti E, Bedoni M, Boschini E, Dellavia C, Barajon I, Gagliano N. Desmocollin 1 and desmoglein 1 expression in human epidermis and keratinizing oral mucosa: a comparative immunohistochemical and molecular study. Arch. Dermatol. Res. 2005; 297: 31-38.
34. GaglianoN, Moscheni C, Dellavia C, et al. Morphological and molecular analysis of idiopathic gingival fibromatosis: a case report. J. Clin.Periodontol. 2005; 10: 1116-1121. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2005.00811.x
35. Donetti E, Bedoni M, Boschini E, Bertelli AAE, Sforza C, Gagliano N. Early epidermal response after a single dose of -rays in organotypic culture of human breast skin. Br. J. Dermatol. 2005; 153: 881-886. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2005.06804.x
36. Gagliano N, Torri C, Donetti E, et al. Ochratoxin A-induced renal cortex fibrosis and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition: molecular mechanisms of ochratoxin A-injury and potential effects of red wine. Mol. Med. 2005; 11: 30-38. doi: 10.1007/s00403-005-0573-9
37. Gagliano N, Moscheni C, Torri C, et al. Effect of Ukrain on matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) and Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC) expression in human glioblastoma cells. Anti-Cancer Drugs. 2006; 17: 189-194.
38. Gagliano N, Dalle Donne I, Torri C, et al. Early cytotoxic effects of ochratoxin A in rat liver: a morphological, biochemical and molecular study. Toxicology. 2006; 225: 214-224. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2006.06.004
39. Gagliano N, Grizzi F, Annoni G. Mechanisms of Aging and Liver Functions. Dig. Dis. 2007; 25: 118-123.
40. Gagliano N, Moscheni C, Torri C, et al. Ukrain modulates glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) but not connexin 43 expression, and induces apoptosis in human cultured glioblastoma cells. Anti-Cancer Drugs. 2007; 18: 669-676.
41. Gagliano N, Pelillo F, Grizzi F, Picciolini O, Gioia M, Portinaro N. Gene expression profile of extracellular matrix of tendons in cerebral palsy. Dev. Med. Child Neurol. 2007; 49: 557-558.
42. Stabellini G, Carinci F, Gagliano N, et al. Downregulated gene expression in human palate fibroblasts after cyclosporin a treatment. Arch. Med. Res. 2007; 38: 717-722. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2007.03.007
43. Gagliano N, Bedoni M, Mantovani G, et al. Effect of a topical treatment in organotypic culture of human breast skin after exposure to gamma-rays. Eur. J. Histochem. 2007; 51: 289-296.
44. Dalle-Donne I, Milzani A, Gagliano N, Colombo R, Giustarini D, Rossi R. Molecular mechanisms and potential clinical significance of S-glutathionylation. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 2008; 10: 445-474.
45. Chiriva-Internati M, Ferrari R, Yu Y, et al. AKAP-4: a novel cancer testis antigen for multiple myeloma. Br. J. Haematol. 2008; 140: 465-468.
46. Chiriva-Internati M, Ferraro R, Prabhakar M, et al. PTTG-1: An immunological target for multiple myeloma. J. Transl. Med. 2008; 6: 15.
47. Gagliano N, Moscheni C, Tartaglia GM, et al. A therapeutic dose of FK506 does not affect collagen turnover pathways in healthy human gingival fibroblasts. Transplant. Proc. 2008; 40: 1419-1424. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2008.03.140.
48. Yu Y, Pilgrim P, Yan J, et al. Protective CD8+ T-cell responses to cytomegalovirus driven by rAAV/GFP/IE1 loading of dendritic cells. J. Transl. Med. 2008; 6: 56. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-6-56.
49. Yu Y, Pilgrim P, Zhou W, et al. rAAV/Her-2/neu loading of dendritic cells for a potent cellular-mediated MHC class I restricted immune response against ovarian cancer. Viral Immunol. 2008; 21: 435-442.
50. Gagliano N, Pelillo F, Chiriva-Internati M, et al. Expression profiling of genes involved in collagen turnover in tendons from cerebral palsy patients. Connect. Tissue Res. 2009; 50: 203-208. doi: 10.1080/03008200802613630.
51. Portinaro N, Panou A, Gagliano N, Pelillo F. D.D.S.H.: developmental dysplasia of the spastic hip: strategies of management in cerebral palsy. A new suggestive algorithm. Hip Int. 2009; 19(Suppl 6): S69-S74.
52. M. Chiriva-Internati, Gagliano N, Donetti E, et al. Sperm protein 17 is expressed in the sperm fibrous sheath. J. Transl. Med. 2009; 7: 61. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-7-61
53. Gagliano N, Costa F, Cossetti C, et al. Glioma-astrocyte interaction modifies the astrocyte phenotype in a co-culture experimental model. Oncology Reports. 2009; 22: 1349-1356. doi: 10.3892/or_00000574
54. Gagliano N, F. Costa,. Tartaglia GM, et al. Effects of aging and cyclosporin A on collagen turnover in human gingiva. Open Dentistry Journal. 2009; 3: 219-226.
55. Prinetti A, Aureli M, Illuzzi G, et al. GM3 synthase overexpression results in reduced cell motility and in caveolin-1 upregulation in human ovarian carcinoma cells. Glycobiology. 2010; 20: 62-77. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwp143
56. Gagliano N, Aldini G, Colombo G, et al. The potential of resveratrol against human gliomas. Anticancer Drugs. 2010; 21: 140-150. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0b013e32833498f1
57. G. Colombo, Dalle-Donne I, Giustarini D, et al. Cellular redox potential and hemoglobin S-glutathionylation in human and rat erythrocytes: A comparative study. Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2010; 44: 133-139. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2009.11.005
58. Gagliano N, Carinci F, Moscheni C, et al. New insights in collagen turnover in orofacial cleft patients. Cleft Palate-Cran. J. 2010; 47: 393-399.
59. Funel N, Costa F, Pettinari L, et al. Ukrain affects pancreas cancer cell phenotype in vitro by targeting MMP-9 and intra/extracellular SPARC expression. Pancreatology. 2010; 10: 545-552.
60. Dalle-Donne I, Colombo G, Gagliano N, et al. S-Glutathiolation in life and death decisions of the cell. Free Radic. Res. 2011; 45: 3-15. doi: 10.3109/10715762.2010.515217
61. Gagliano N, Pettinari L, Aureli M, et al. Malignant phenotype of renal cell carcinoma cells is switched by Ukrain administration in vitro. Anticancer Drugs. 2011; 22: 749-762.
62. Prinetti A, Cao T, Illuzzi G, et al. A glycosphingolipid/caveolin-1 signaling complex inhibits the motility of human ovarian carcinoma cells. J. Biol. Chem. 2011; 286: 40900-40910. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.286146
63. Colombo G, Rossi R, Gagliano N, et al. Red blood cells protect albumin from cigarette smoke–induced oxidation. PLoS one. 2012; 7: e29930. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029930
64. Colombo G, Dalle-Donne I, Orioli M, et al. Oxidative damage in human gingival fibroblasts exposed to cigarette smoke. Free Radical Biology & Medicine. 2012; 52: 1584-1596.
65. Gagliano N, Volpari T, Clerici M, et al. Pancreatic cancer cells retain epithelial-related phenotype and modify mitotic spindle microtubules after Ukrain administration in vitro. 2012; Anticancer Drugs. 23: 935-946.
66. Randelli P, Conforti E, Piccoli M, et al. Isolation and characterization of 2 new human rotator cuff and long head of biceps tendon cells possessing stem cell-like self-renewal and multipotential differentiation capacity. Am J Sports Med. 2013; 41: 1653-1664. doi: 10.1177/0363546512473572
67. Gornati R, Colombo G, Clerici M, et al. Protein carbonylation in human endothelial cells exposed to cigarette smoke extract. Toxicol Lett. 2013; 218: 118-128. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2013.01.023.
68. Gagliano N, Menon A, Martinelli C, et al. Tendon structure and extracellular matrix components are affected by spasticity in cerebral palsy patients. Muscle, Ligaments and Tendons Journal. 2013; 3: 42-50. doi: 10.11138/mltj/2013.3.1.042
69. Menon A, Pettinari L, Martinelli C, et al. New insights in extracellular matrix remodeling and collagen turnover related pathways in cultured human tenocytes after Ciprofloxacin administration. Muscle, Ligaments and Tendons Journal. 2013; 3: 122-131.
70. Dellavia C, Ricci G, Pettinari L, Allievi C, Grizzi F, Gagliano N. Human palate and tuberosity mucosa as donor sites for ridge augmentation. International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry. 2014; 34: 179-186. doi: 10.11607/prd.1929
71. Clerici M, Colombo G, Secundo F, et al. Cigarette smoke induces alterations in the drug-binding properties of human serum albumin. Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2014; 52: 166-174. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2013.12.001
72. Cressoni M, Chiurazzi C, Gotti M, et al. Lung inhomogeneities and time course of ventilator-induced mechanical injuries. Anesthesiology. 2015; 123: 618-627. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000000727

1. Annoni G, Gagliano N. Effect of aging on liver and pancreas. Aging and the gastrointestinal tract. Interdisciplinary topics in gerontology. Karger, Base. 2003; 32: 65-73.
2. Gagliano N, Dalle-Donne I. Resveratrol and chemoprevention of gliomas. Herbal Medicine. A cancer chemopreventive and therapeutic perspective. Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers Pvt. Ltd, Delhi. 210-228.