My research can be divided into three major themes:

Aquatic Ecotoxicology

Coastal and aquatic systems are highly impacted by anthropogenic activity. Bivalves that live in these environments can be particularly vulnerable as they are sessile and filter-feeding organisms. Therefore, most of my work so far focused on understanding how environmental contaminants or other stressors may affect bivalve health by looking more specifically into their immune competence (immunotoxicity).

Human, animal and environmental health

Human, animal, and environmental health are interdependent. Also, mitochondrial homeostasis is detrimental to organismal health. Thus, by taking advantage of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and other mammalian models, I am interested in how this homeostasis can be disrupted by environmental stressors, posing a risk to living organisms.

Mitochondrial dysfunction and immune rewiring

In addition to having a central role in energy metabolism, mitochondria are key modulators of the immune system. I am absorbed by understanding how environmental contaminants can cause mitochondrial dysfunction (or mitotoxicity) and consequently dysregulate immune responses (what I like to call mitoimmunotoxicity).

List of publications in chronological order

MELLO, DF; TREVISAN, R; DANIELLI, NM; DAFRE, AL. Vulnerability of glutathione-depleted Crassostrea gigas oysters to Vibrio species. Marine Environmental Research, 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.104870

MELLO, DF; TREVISAN, R; RIVERA, N; GEITNER, NK; DI GIULIO, RT; WIESNER, MR; HSU-KIM, H; MEYER, JN. Caveats to the use of MTT, neutral red, Hoechst and Resazurin to measure silver nanoparticle cytotoxicity. Chemical Biological Interactions, 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2019.108868

MAGLIONI S; MELLO DF; SCHIAVI A; MEYER JN; VENTURA N. Mitochondrial bioenergetic changes during development as an indicator of C. elegans health-span, 2019. Aging. doi: 10.18632/aging.102208

HARTMAN, JH; RICHIE, CT; MELLO, DF; CASTILLO, P; ZHU, A; WANG, Y; HOFFER, BJ; MEYER, JN; HARVEY, BK. MANF deletion abrogates early larval Caenorhabditis elegans stress response to tunicamycin and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. European Journal of Cell Biology, 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2019.05.002

DREIER, DA; MELLO, DF; MEYER, JN; MARTYNIUK, CJ. Linking mitochondrial dysfunction to organismal and population health in context of environmental pollutants: Progress and considerations for mitochondrial adverse outcome pathways. Journal of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2019. doi: 10.1002/etc.4453
*ET&C top 10 Exceptional Papers of 2019 Award

CUNHA, ACL; PONTINHA, VA; DE CASTRO, MAM; SÜHNEL, S; MEDEIROS, SC; LUZ, AMM; HARAKAVA, R; TACHIBANA, L; MELLO, DF; DANIELLI, NM; DAFRE, AL; MAGALHÃES, ARM; MOURIÑO, JLP. Two epizootic Perkinsus spp. events in commercial oyster farms at Santa Catarina, Brazil. Journal of Fish Diseases, 2019. doi: 10.1111/jfd.12958.

HIBSHMAN, JD; LEUTHNER, TC; SHOBEN, C; MELLO, DF; SHERWOOD, DR; MEYER, JN; BAUGH, LR. (in press). Non-selective autophagy reduces mitochondrial content during starvation in Caenorhabditis elegans. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00109.2018

MEYER, JN; HARTMAN, JH; MELLO, DF. Contemporary Review: Mitochondrial Toxicity. Toxicological Sciences, p. 1-9, 2018. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfy008

MELLO, DF; DANIELLI, NM; CURBANI, F; PONTINHA, VA; SUHNEL, S; CASTRO, MAM; MEDEIROS, SC; WENDT, NC; TREVISAN, R; MAGALHÃES, ARM; DAFRE, AL. First evidence of viral and bacterial oyster pathogens in the Brazilian coast. Journal of Fish Diseases, v. 41, p. 559-563, 2018. doi: 10.1111/jfd.12755

DANIELLI, NM; TREVISAN, R; MELLO, DF; FISCHER, DECONTO, VS; ACOSTA, DS; BIANCHINI, A; BAINY, ACD; DAFRE, AL. Contrasting effects of a classic Nrf2 activator, tert-butylhydroquinone, on the glutathione-related antioxidant defenses in Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas. Marine Environmental Research, v. 130, p. 142-149. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2017.07.020

NOGUEIRA, L1; MELLO, DF1; TREVISAN, R1; GARCIA, D; ACOSTA, DS; DAFRE, AL; DE ALMEIDA, EA. Hypoxia effects on oxidative stress and immunocompetence biomarkers in the mussel Perna perna (Mytilidae, Bivalvia). Marine Environmental Research, v. 126, p. 109-115, 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2017.02.009
1 These authors contributed equally.

DANIELLI, NM; TREVISAN, R; MELLO, DF; FISCHER, DECONTO, VS; ACOSTA, DS; BIANCHINI, A; BAINY, ACD; DAFRE, AL. Upregulating Nrf2-dependent antioxidant defenses in Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas: Investigating the Nrf2/Keap1 pathway in bivalves. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology, v. 195, p. 16-26, 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2017.02.004

TREVISAN, R; MELLO, DF; DELAPEDRA, G; SILVA, DGH; ARL, M; DANIELLI, NM; METIAN, M; ALMEIDA, EA; DAFRE, AL. Gills as a glutathione-dependent metabolic barrier in Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas: absorption, metabolism and excretion of a model electrophile. Aquatic Toxicology, v. 173, p. 105–119, 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2016.01.008

UCHOA, MF; DE SOUZA, LF; DOS SANTOS, DB; PERES, TV; MELLO, DF; LEAL, RB; FARINA, M; DAFRE, AL. Modulation of Brain Glutathione Reductase and Peroxiredoxin 2 by α-Tocopheryl Phosphate. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, v. 36, p. 1015-1022, 2016. doi: 10.1007/s10571-015-0298-z

TREVISAN, R; FLORES-NUNES, F; DOLORES, ES; MATTOS, JJ; PIAZZA, CE; SASAKI, ST; TANIGUCHI, S; MONTONE, RC; BÍCEGO, MC; REIS, IMM; ZACCHI, FL; OTHERO, BNM; BASTOLLA, CLV; MELLO, DF; FRAGA, APM; WENDT, N; TOLEDO-SILVA, G; RAZZERA, G; DAFRE, AL; DE MELO, CMR; BIANCHINI, A; MARQUES, MRF; BAINY ACD. Thiol oxidation of hemolymph proteins in oysters Crassostrea brasiliana as markers of oxidative damage induced by urban sewage exposure. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, v. 9999, p. 1-13, 2016. doi: 10.1002/etc.3543

MELLO, DF; ARL, M; TREVISAN, R; DAFRE, AL. How important are glutathione and thiol reductases to oyster hemocyte function? Fish and Shellfish Immunology, v. 46, p. 566-572, 2015. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2015.07.017

TREVISAN, R; DELAPEDRA, G; MELLO, DF; ARL, M; SCHMIDT, EC; MEDER, F; MONOPOLI, M; CARGNIN-FERREIRA, E; BOUZON, ZL; FISHER, AS; SHEEHAN, D; DAFRE, AL. Gills are an initial target of zinc oxide nanoparticles in oysters Crassostrea gigas, leading to mitochondrial disruption and oxidative stress. Aquatic Toxicology, v. 153, p. 27-38, 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2014.03.018

TREVISAN, R; MELLO, DF; ULIANO-SILVA, M; DELAPEDRA, G; ARL, M; DAFRE, AL. The biological importance of glutathione peroxidase and peroxiredoxin backup systems in bivalves during peroxide exposure. Marine Environmental Research, v. 101, p. 81-90, 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.09.004

SIMÕES, E; VIEIRA, RC; SCHRAMM, MA; MELLO, DF; PONTINHA, VA; DA SILVA, PM; BARRACCO, MA. Impact of harmful algal blooms (Dinophysis acuminata) on the immune system of oysters and mussels from Santa Catarina, Brazil. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK (Online), v. 1, p. 1-9, 2014. doi: 10.1017/S0025315414001702

MELLO, DF; DA SILVA, PM; BARRACCO, MA; SOUDANT, P; HÉGARET, H. Effects of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum and its toxin (saxitoxin) on the functional activity and gene expression of Crassostrea gigas hemocytes. Harmful Algae, v. 26, p. 45-51, 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.hal.2013.03.003

MELLO, DF; DE OLIVEIRA, ES; VIEIRA, RC; SIMOES, E; TREVISAN, R; DAFRE, AL; BARRACCO, MA. Cellular and Transcriptional Responses of Crassostrea gigas Hemocytes Exposed in vitro to Brevetoxin (PbTx-2). Marine Drugs, v. 10, p. 583-597, 2012. doi: 10.3390/md10030583

TREVISAN, R; ARL, M; SACCHET, CL; ENGEL, CS; DANIELLI, NM; MELLO, DF; BROCARDO, C; MARIS, AF; DAFRE, AL. Antioxidant deficit in gills of Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) exposed to chlorodinitrobenzene increases menadione toxicity. Aquatic Toxicology, v. 108, p. 85-93, 2012. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2011.09.023

2010 TREVISAN, R; MELLO, DF; FISHER, AS; SCHUWERACK, PM; DAFRE, AL; MOODY, AJ. Selenium in water enhances antioxidant defenses and protects against copper-induced DNA damage in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. Aquatic Toxicology. v. 101, p. 64-71, 2010. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2010.09.003

MELLO, DF; PROENÇA, LAO; BARRACCO, MA. Comparative Study of Various Immune Parameters in Three Bivalve Species during a Natural Bloom of Dinophysis acuminata in Santa Catarina Island, Brazil. Toxins. v.2, p.1166 – 1178, 2010. doi: 10.3390/toxins2051166

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