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    ABSTRACT: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become a common liver disease in recent decades. No effective treatment is currently available. Probiotics and natural functional food may be promising therapeutic approaches to this disease. The present study aims to investigate the efficiency of the anthraquinone from Cassia obtusifolia L. (AC) together with cholesterol-lowering probiotics (P) to improve high-fat diet (HFD)-induced NAFLD in rat models and elucidate the underlying mechanism. Cholesterol-lowering probiotics were screened out by MRS-cholesterol broth with ammonium ferric sulfate method. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed with HFD and subsequently administered with AC and/or P. Lipid metabolism parameters and fat synthesis related genes in rat liver, as well as the diversity of gut microbiota were evaluated. The results demonstrated that, compared with the NAFLD rat, the serum lipid levels of treated rats were reduced effectively. Besides, cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1), low density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) and farnesoid X receptor (FXR) were up-regulated while the expression of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl glutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) was reduced. The expression of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-α protein was significantly increased while the expression of PPAR-γ and sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) was down-regulated. In addition, compared with HFD group, in AC, P and AC+P group, the expression of intestinal tight-junction protein occludin and zonula occluden-1 (ZO-1) were up-regulated. Furthermore, altered gut microbiota diversity after the treatment of probiotics and AC were analysed. The combination of cholesterol-lowering probiotics and AC possesses a therapeutic effect on NAFLD in rats by up-regulating CYP7A1, LDL-R, FXR mRNA and PPAR-α protein produced in the process of fat metabolism while down-regulating the expression of HMGCR, PPAR-γ and SREBP-1c, and through normalizing the intestinal dysbiosis and improving the intestinal mucosal barrier function.
    PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0138078. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0138078
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    ABSTRACT: Plenty of studies have established that dysregulation of autophagy plays an essential role in cancer progression. The autophagy-related proteins have been reported to be closely associated with human cancer patients' prognosis. We explored the expression dynamics and prognostic value of autophagy-related protein ULK1 by immunochemistry (IHC) method in two independent cohorts of nasopharygeal carcinoma (NPC) cases. The X-tile program was applied to determine the optimal cut-off value in the training cohort. This derived cutoff value was then subjected to analysis the association of ULK1 expression with patients' clinical characteristics and survival outcome in the validation cohort and overall cases. High ULK1 expression was closely associated with aggressive clinical feature of NPC patients. Furthermore, high expression of ULK1 was observed more frequently in therapeutic resistant group than that in therapeutic effective group. Our univariate and multivariate analysis also showed that higher ULK1 expression predicted inferior disease-specific survival (DSS) (P<0.05). Consequently, a new clinicopathologic prognostic model with 3 poor prognostic factors (ie, ULK1 expression, overall clinical stage and therapeutic response) could significantly stratify risk (low, intermediate and high) for DSS in NPC patients (P<0.001). These findings provide evidence that, the examination of ULK1 expression by IHC method, could serve as an effective additional tool for predicting therapeutic response and patients' survival outcome in NPC patients.
    PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0117375. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0117375
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    ABSTRACT: Perimembranous ventricular septal defect (PMVSD) is a congenital heart aberration, which is surgically treated by patch or device closure, but also can heal without operation as spontaneous closure (SC). We analyzed data from 1873 PMVSD patients admitted to our hospital during September 2001 and December 2009, in order to establish a Cox regression model for PMVSD SC probability prediction (derivative cohort). Initial contact age, ventricular septal defect (VSD) diameter, shunt flow, aneurysmal tissue of the ventricular membranous septum (ATVMS) development, associated complications, and left ventricular end-diastolic dimension (LVDD) were analyzed for correlations with SC. The derived scoring system based on the coefficients of the model was developed and applied to another cohort with 382 PMVSD patients to evaluate the validity for SC probability forecast (validation cohort). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that SC of PMVSD was associated with age at first contact, defect size, diffuse shunt flow, ATVMS formation, associated complication, as well as increased LVDD, which were used to establish a new scoring system. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of our predictive scaling was 0.831 (95% CI 0.804-0.858, p<0.001) in the derivative cohort. The scoring system also accurately predicted SC with an area under the ROC curve of 0.863 (95% CI 0.785-0.941, p<0.001) in the validation cohort. Our scoring system using factors affecting SC can predict the probability of SC in PMVSD patients.
    PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e113822. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0113822


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    Rome, Italy
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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 01/2005; 34(6):703-8. DOI:10.1007/s10803-004-5290-2
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