A great deal of information has been accumulated duringthe last three decades and this has improved ourunderstanding of neuronal transmission and plasticityunder normal and pathological conditions. For instance, thediscovery at the synaptic level of the molecularmechanisms regulating the expression and transductionmechanisms of receptors for glutamate, the main excitatoryneurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system(CNS), has been essential for understanding how eventsrelated to normal neuronal communication, to neuronalplasticity (e.g., LTP and LTD) under normal andpathological conditions, as well as to abusive, i.e.excitotoxic, NMDA receptor subtype-mediated events, aretuned. These advances have been made possible by themultidisciplinary approach used by neuroscientists in theirresearches. The concept has then emerged thatredistribution between synaptic and extrasynapticmembranes of specific receptor subunits together withanomalous potentiation of NMDA receptor function,operated via interaction with neuroinflammatory mediators(e.g. cytokines) or kinases (e.g. Src kinase), causesdisturbance of the glutamatergic synapse and this, forinstance, may form the basis for disorders of learning andmemory processes as well as for the development of painsensitization and excitotoxicity. Accordingly, pathologicalglutamate transmission has been implicated in severaldiseases including Alzheimer’s disease, a chronicneurodegenerative malady paradigmatic for learning andmemory deficits, neuropathic pain, glaucoma and stroke,clinical conditions in great demand for effective therapies.These and other subjects are the main topics to bediscussed at the Workshop on Apoptosis in Biology andMedicine that is the XII in a successful series organized inthe frame of the PhD Course on Pharmacology andBiochemistry of Cell Death run at the University ofCalabria at Cosenza in Consortium with the University‘‘Magna Graecia’’ at Catanzaro and the University ofRome ‘‘Tor Vergata’’. Quite importantly, the XIIWorkshop is the result of an ongoing collaboration withscientists leading the PhD course on Cellular Biochemistryand Drug Action in Oncology run at the University ofCalabria and having as the main scope the organization ofa Doctoral School in Molecular and TranslationalMedicine. Accordingly, this is the ideal venue where toannounce the project and invite scientists from regional,national and international research laboratories tocontribute to the success of this challenging academicventure here in Calabria.

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