Cristina Colarossi

Mediterranean Institute of Hematology, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (22)84.07 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background Numerous clinical studies have shown that anti-EGFR therapies are effective only in a subset of patients with colorectal cancer. Mutations in the KRAS and BRAF genes have been confirmed as negative predictors of the response to EGFR-targeted therapies.In this study we evaluated KRAS and BRAF status in 159 colorectal cancer samples obtained from the University of Tirana.Methods We evaluated KRAS mutations in codons 12, 13, 61, 146 and in codon 600 of BRAF by direct sequencing.. 90 patients were male (57%) and 69 female (43%); the patients¿ ages ranged from 17 to 85 (median 61.7). 24 patient were stage I, 36 stage II, 84 stage III and 15 stage IV.ResultsOut of the 159 cases, 28 (17,6%) showed KRAS mutation (13 G12D, 4 G12C, 4 G12V, 3 G12A, 2 G13 D, 1 G12S and 1 A146T), and 10 (6,3%) showed BRAF mutation (all V600E). No significant correlations between KRAS and BRAF mutations and various clinicopathological parameters was found.This is the first report of KRAS and BRAF status in Albanian patients with colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and though the relatively small sample size might not provide enough statistics power.Conclusions The results of KRAS and BRAF mutation analysis could be used in the selection of patients for anti-EGFR therapy.Virtual SlidesThe virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/13000_2014_187.
    Diagnostic Pathology 09/2014; 9(1):187. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PurposeNew treatment options for gastric cancer are in great demand. Histone deacetylases (HDAC) are exciting therapeutic targets, but only the class I HDACs 1, 2 and 3, have been studied in gastric cancer. We have investigated class IIa HDAC expression and inhibition in gastric cancer cells.Experimental designWe measured the level of 27 (phospho)proteins related to class IIa HDAC expression and function in ten laser capture microdissected gastric tumor samples compared to patient matched adjacent normal mucosa. Following, we evaluated class IIa HDAC inhibition by MC1568 in SNU-16 gastric cancer cells alone and in combination with cysplatin or docetaxel.ResultsWe demonstrate for the first time an increase of histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) in gastric tumor cells. HDAC4 inhibition had a synergistic effect with docetaxel treatment, shifting the cellular response from a cytostatic to a cytotoxic phenotype. This effect was associated with increased levels of cleaved caspases 3 and 9 and increased acetylated histone H3 Lys9/Lys14.Conclusions and clinical relevanceThis data supports in-vivo studies investigating the potential clinical use of HDAC4 inhibitors in combination with docetaxel for the treatment of gastric cancer, lowering treatment doses of docetaxel to reduce the burden of adverse side effects on patients.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    PROTEOMICS - CLINICAL APPLICATIONS 08/2014; · 1.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a major public health problem, accounting from more cancer-related deaths than any other cancer. Both immunotherapy, based on the expression of tumor-specific antigens, and targeted therapy, based on the presence of oncogenic mutations, are under development in NSCLC. In this study, we analyzed the expression of MAGE-A, of the CTA group, in tumors from a cohort of resected NSCLC with respect to their clinicopathological characteristics and to the mutational status of the EGFR and KRAS genes. We found MAGE-A expression, by immunohistochemistry, in 43% of the tumors. MAGE-A expression was significantly more frequent in squamous than in adenous tumors, did not correlate with disease stage, but was significantly correlated with high tumor grade and poorer survival. EGFR and KRAS mutations were present in adenous, but not in squamous tumors. Whereas the presence of EGFR mutations did not appear to impact survival, that of KRAS mutations was associated with early stage disease and better survival. MAGE-A expression was absent from KRAS mutated adenous tumors, but was not significantly different in tumors bearing or not EGFR mutations. Altogether, the reported results provide guidance for the design of combination therapies in patients with NSCLC.
    Cancer immunology research. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: CD200 is a relatively ubiquitously expressed molecule that plays a role in cancer immune evasion through interaction with its receptors. High expression levels of CD200 have been described in different human malignancies. For example, CD200 has been shown to be targeted after RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK activation in melanoma. Here we present the analysis of CD200 expression in human Multiple Myeloma (MM) samples. We found that CD200-positive cells express ERK and p-ERK. Moreover, UO126, a MEK inhibitor, reduces CD200 expression. Furthermore, we observe that CD200-positive cells show reduced immunogenicity compared to normal lymphocytes and that such immunogenicity increases when UO126 is used. We therefore hypothesize that CD200 expression in MM could suppress antitumor response and that anti-CD200 treatment might be therapeutically beneficial in CD200-expressing tumors.
    Leukemia research 09/2013; · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melanocytic nevi are the most common tumors of the conjunctiva, accounting for 28% of all neoplastic lesions. These tumors, despite their benign behavior, share some atypical histological features with nevi found in other anatomic sites like the genital and acral regions, globally designated as nevi with site-related atypia. Moreover, in children and adolescents, rapidly growing conjunctival nevi show sometimes worrisome histological patterns in association with a prominent inflammatory infiltrate that may lead to diagnostic problems. In this paper we describe a juvenile compound nevus characterized by marked melanocytic atypia and severe inflammation, which can be considered a rare case of juvenile conjunctival atypical nevus. The final diagnosis relied on morphological and immunohistochemical characterization of the large epithelioid melanocytic cells, and on the results of FISH analysis. Virtual slides The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/2973228795724608.
    Diagnostic Pathology 04/2013; 8(1):64. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the urinary bladder is a rare entity, accounting less then 1% of urinary bladder malignancies. The vast majority of the neuroendocrine carcinoma of the urinary bladder is represented by small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma while just few cases of large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) have been reported. In this cases report we describe a rare case of primary bladder LCNEC. Virtual slide The virtual slide for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/2474700528951562.
    Diagnostic Pathology 02/2013; 8(1):19. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    British Journal of Haematology 08/2012; 159(2):237-40. · 4.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diagnostic and prognostic implications of endocrine differentiation were evaluated in 103 common gastric adenocarcinomas and undifferentiated carcinomas. Maturely differentiated exocrine and endocrine phenotypes were evaluated by using gastric exocrine and endocrine markers along with intestinal exocrine and endocrine markers. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that 66 tumors (64%) were positive for generic endocrine markers such as chromogranin A and/or synaptophysin. The 14 patients with more than 20% tumor cells positive for at least 1 endocrine marker experienced a poorer prognosis than patients with no (n = 37) or 1% to 20% (n = 52) positivity. The 16 carcinomas expressing the maturely differentiated exocrine gastric phenotype significantly correlated with poorer outcome compared with carcinomas with mature exocrine intestinal (n = 22) or mixed/gastrointestinal (n = 64) phenotypes. Among tumors expressing chromogranin A and/or synaptophysin, the maturely differentiated endocrine gastric phenotype (n = 26) was a negative prognostic factor compared with mature endocrine intestinal (n = 21) and mixed/gastrointestinal (n = 5) phenotypes. Endocrine differentiation and maturely exocrine/endocrine gastric phenotypes are associated with an unfavorable prognosis and may identify subsets of patients for tailored therapy.
    American Journal of Clinical Pathology 05/2012; 137(5):712-21. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor cells with stem-like phenotype and properties, known as cancer stem cells (CSC), have been identified in most solid tumors and are presumed to be responsible for driving tumor initiation, chemoresistance, relapse, or metastasis. A subpopulation of cells with increased stem-like potential has also been identified within sarcomas. These cells are endowed with increased tumorigenic potential, chemoresistance, expression of embryonic markers, and side population(SP) phenotype. Leiomyosarcomas (LMS) are soft tissue sarcomas presumably arising from undifferentiated cells of mesenchymal origin, the Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC). Frequent recurrence of LMS and chemoresistance of relapsed patients may likely result from the failure to target CSC. Therefore, therapeutic cues coming from the cancer stem cell (CSC) field may drastically improve patient outcome. We expanded LMS stem-like cells from patient samples in vitro and examined the possibility to counteract LMS malignancy through a stem-like cell effective approach. LMS stem-like cells were in vitro expanded both as "tumor spheres" and as "monolayers" in Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) conditions. LMS stem-like cells displayed MSC phenotype, higher SP fraction, and increased drug-extrusion, extended proliferation potential, self-renewal, and multiple differentiation ability. They were chemoresistant, highly tumorigenic, and faithfully reproduced the patient tumor in mice. Such cells displayed activation of EGFR/AKT/MAPK pathways, suggesting a possibility in overcoming their chemoresistance through EGFR blockade. IRESSA plus Vincristine treatment determined pathway inactivation, impairment of SP phenotype, high cytotoxicity in vitro and strong antitumor activity in stem-like cell-generated patient-like xenografts, targeting both stem-like and differentiated cells. EGFR blockade combined with vincristine determines stem-like cell effective antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo against LMS, thus providing a potential therapy for LMS patients.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e46891. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PAX8 and PAX2 are cell-lineage-specific transcription factors that are essential for the development of Wolffian and Müllerian ducts and have recently emerged as specific diagnostic markers for tumors of renal or Müllerian origin. Little is known about their expression in the Wolffian duct-derived human male genital tract. We report our findings of PAX8 and PAX2 expression in the epithelium of the normal male genital tract and in epithelial tumors derived therefrom using immunohistochemistry (IHC). We found that PAX8 and PAX2 were expressed in the epithelium of the male genital tract from the rete testis to the ejaculatory duct. Rare glands in the prostatic central zone, a tissue of purported Wolffian duct origin, were focally positive for PAX2, but no PAX8 was detected in this area, a finding that may warrant further study. We found diffuse expression of PAX8 and PAX2 in 1 case each of serous cystadenoma of the epididymis, carcinoma of the rete testis, Wolffian adnexal tumor of the seminal vesicle, and endometrioid carcinoma of the seminal vesicle. Neither PAX8 nor PAX2 was detected in the seminiferous tubules and interstitium of the normal testis, nor in Leydig cell tumors (n=6), Sertoli cell tumors (n=2), or 48 of 49 germ cell tumors. One pediatric yolk sac tumor showed focal and weak staining for PAX8. Tumors of mesothelial origin, that is, adenomatoid tumors (n=3) and peritoneal malignant mesotheliomas (n=37) in men, were negative for PAX2 and PAX8. Neither PAX2 nor PAX8 was present in other areas of the prostate. Expression of PAX8 and PAX2 in these primary epithelial neoplasms of the male genital tract is due to their histogenetic relationship with Wolffian or Müllerian ducts. PAX8 and PAX2 IHC may facilitate the diagnosis of these tumors and should be included in the differential diagnostic IHC panel.
    The American journal of surgical pathology 09/2011; 35(10):1473-83. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The interaction between cancer cells and microenvironment has a critical role in tumor development and progression. Although microRNAs regulate all the major biological mechanisms, their influence on tumor microenvironment is largely unexplored. Here, we investigate the role of microRNAs in the tumor-supportive capacity of stromal cells. We demonstrated that miR-15 and miR-16 are downregulated in fibroblasts surrounding the prostate tumors of the majority of 23 patients analyzed. Such downregulation of miR-15 and miR-16 in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) promoted tumor growth and progression through the reduced post-transcriptional repression of Fgf-2 and its receptor Fgfr1, which act on both stromal and tumor cells to enhance cancer cell survival, proliferation and migration. Moreover, reconstitution of miR-15 and miR-16 impaired considerably the tumor-supportive capability of stromal cells in vitro and in vivo. Our data suggest a molecular circuitry in which miR-15 and miR-16 and their correlated targets cooperate to promote tumor expansion and invasiveness through the concurrent activity on stromal and cancer cells, thus providing further support to the development of therapies aimed at reconstituting miR-15 and miR-16 in advanced prostate cancer.
    Oncogene 05/2011; 30(41):4231-42. · 8.56 Impact Factor
  • Annals of Oncology 03/2011; 22(4):986-7. · 7.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is an urgent need to measure phosphorylated cell signaling proteins in cancer tissue for the individualization of molecular targeted kinase inhibitor therapy. However, phosphoproteins fluctuate rapidly following tissue procurement. Snap-freezing preserves phosphoproteins, but is unavailable in most clinics and compromises diagnostic morphology. Formalin fixation preserves tissue histomorphology, but penetrates tissue slowly, and is unsuitable for stabilizing phosphoproteins. We originated and evaluated a novel one-step biomarker and histology preservative (BHP) chemistry that stabilizes signaling protein phosphorylation and retains formalin-like tissue histomorphology with equivalent immunohistochemistry in a single paraffin block. Total protein yield extracted from BHP-fixed, routine paraffin-embedded mouse liver was 100% compared to snap-frozen tissue. The abundance of 14 phosphorylated proteins was found to be stable over extended fixation times in BHP fixed paraffin embedded human colon mucosa. Compared to matched snap-frozen tissue, 8 phosphoproteins were equally preserved in mouse liver, while AMPKβ1 Ser108 was slightly elevated after BHP fixation. More than 25 tissues from mouse, cat and human specimens were evaluated for preservation of histomorphology. Selected tissues were evaluated in a multi-site, independent pathology review. Tissue fixed with BHP showed equivalent preservation of cytoplasmic and membrane cytomorphology, with significantly better nuclear chromatin preservation by BHP compared to formalin. Immunohistochemical staining of 13 non-phosphorylated proteins, including estrogen receptor alpha, progesterone receptor, Ki-67 and Her2, was equal to or stronger in BHP compared to formalin. BHP demonstrated significantly improved immunohistochemical detection of phosphorylated proteins ERK Thr202/Tyr204, GSK3-α/β Ser21/Ser9, p38-MAPK Thr180/Tyr182, eIF4G Ser1108 and Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase Ser79. In a single paraffin block BHP preserved the phosphorylation state of several signaling proteins at a level comparable to snap-freezing, while maintaining the full diagnostic immunohistochemical and histomorphologic detail of formalin fixation. This new tissue fixative has the potential to greatly facilitate personalized medicine, biobanking, and phospho-proteomic research.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e23780. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The highly immunogenic human tumor antigen NY-ESO-1 (ESO) is a target of choice for anti-cancer immune therapy. In this study, we assessed spontaneous antibody (Ab) responses to ESO in a large cohort of patients with primary breast cancer (BC) and addressed the correlation between the presence of anti-ESO Ab, the expression of ESO in the tumors and their characteristics. We found detectable Ab responses to ESO in 1% of the patients. Tumors from patients with circulating Ab to ESO exhibited common characteristics, being mainly hormone receptor (HR)⁻ invasive ductal carcinomas of high grade, including both HER2⁻ and HER2⁺ tumors. In line with these results, we detected ESO expression in 20% of primary HR⁻ BC, including both ESO Ab⁺ and Ab⁻ patients, but not in HR⁺ BC. Interestingly, whereas expression levels in ESO⁺ BC were not significantly different between ESO Ab⁺ and Ab⁻ patients, the former had, in average, significantly higher numbers of tumor-infiltrated lymph nodes, indicating that lymph node invasion may be required for the development of spontaneous anti-tumor immune responses. Thus, the presence of ESO Ab identifies a tumor subtype of HR⁻ (HER2⁻ or HER2⁺) primary BC with frequent ESO expression and, together with the assessment of antigen expression in the tumor, may be instrumental for the selection of patients for whom ESO-based immunotherapy may complement standard therapy.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(6):e21129. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several reports demonstrated that the activation of Nuclear Factor-kappa B NF-κB is essential for the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma (MM). We analyzed the nuclear localization of NF-κB in MM-cells derived from 60 different patients with MM at presentation and in relapse, as well as in three myeloma cell lines. Nuclear localization (the active form) of NF-κB was detected in only one MM-sample from a refractory patient and in two samples from relapsed patients, while all the other samples, including the MM-cell lines, almost exclusively express the cytoplasmic (inactive) form of NF-κB. In mesenchymal cells from MM-patients NF-κB was clearly present in the nucleus. In addition, the proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib, which is described to antagonize NF-κB activity, had a consistent antitumor activity against both chemoresistant and chemosensitive MM-cells, regardless the NF-κB localization, thus suggesting the existence of other molecular targets of proteasome inhibitors in MM.
    Leukemia research 01/2011; 35(1):52-60. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Microscopic colitis (MC), comprising lymphocytic and collagenous colitis (LC, CC), causes chronic diarrhoea. Lansoprazole can cause MC. Likelihood criteria defining the causative relationship between drugs and MC have not been applied to lansoprazole, nor has lansoprazole-related-MC been characterized. To analyse a series of lansoprazole-related MC cases, and characterize lansoprazole-related CC and LC. Cases were diagnosed over 23 months and causal relationship evaluated by established likelihood criteria. A systematic Medline search was conducted and publications analysed. Eight patients had lansoprazole-related MC. In all cases chronological and causality likelihood scores supported lansoprazole causative role. Discontinuation determined resolution without further treatment. Twenty-five cases of lansoprazole-related MC from 10 publications were grouped with the present series, and differences between CC and LC analysed. CC cases had more macroscopic alterations at colonoscopy (72.2 vs. 6.6%; p=0.0002). Time between lansoprazole start and symptoms onset was longer for CC (median 60 vs. 28 days; p=0.03). Peculiar features of lansoprazole-related CC were described through the analysis of a newly diagnosed lansoprazole-related MC series in which the causative role of lansoprazole was for the first time defined by established likelihood criteria, and by pooled evaluation with other cases retrieved by a systematic literature review.
    Digestive and Liver Disease 12/2010; 43(5):380-5. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A primary pleural marginal zone B cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) is a very rare eventuality. Here, we report a rare case of MALT lymphoma arising in the pleura and update the literature on this topic. A 74-year-old female was hospitalized for persistent cough and weakness. A chest radiograph and total-body CT scan showed only large right-sided pleural effusion, and the coexistence of pleural thickening. Video-assisted thoracoscopic exploration and a talc pleurodesis were performed and microscopic and immunohistochemical findings showed that the tumor was a pleural MALT lymphoma. The patient received immunotherapy with Rituximab and obtained a good response that lasted 2 years. To the best of our knowledge, only seven cases of primary pleural MALT lymphoma have been documented until recently, mostly from Japan with a mean age for all patients of 60.5 years. The pathogenesis of MALT lymphomas remains unclear, although a possible chronic antigenic stimulation by microbial pathogens and/or autoantigens has been hypothesized. Surgical resection was performed in most cases, and some patients received postoperative chemotherapy or immunotherapy. The clinicopathologic characteristics and management of this extremely rare disease are also discussed.
    International journal of hematology 09/2010; 92(2):369-73. · 1.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the genetic events leading to tumorigenesis in a patient affected with WAGR syndrome who developed multiple distinct Wilms tumors (WTs). At 1 year of age, the child developed two synchronous bilateral WTs that were resected by partial nephrectomy. Histologically, these tumors were fetal rhabdomyomatous nephroblastomas. Immunohistochemical study revealed the absence of nuclear expression of WT1 protein, while beta-catenin protein was expressed at nuclear level by the large majority of tumor cells. Molecular investigations of WT1 gene and exon 3 of beta-catenin (CTNNB1) gene detected no mutations. At 4 years of age, 28 months after the chemotherapy completion, a third WT was diagnosed in the left kidney, and surgically removed before any further chemotherapy. Nine months after surgery, a metastasis was detected in the left lung. Both the third renal tumor and the lung metastasis showed a blastema-predominant morphology. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the lack of expression of WT1 protein, while beta-catenin protein was expressed at nuclear level by the large majority of tumor cells. Molecular analysis of the third renal tumor and the lung metastasis revealed a 4 bp deletion in exon 7 of WT1 gene, leading to a frameshift of the reading frame and to a premature stop of the translation (c.925_928delACTC, p.T309LfsX71); no mutations in the exon 3 of the beta-catenin gene were documented. These data demonstrate that multiple WTs can arise as a consequence of different genetic events in a patient with genetic predisposition, such as WAGR syndrome.
    Pediatric Blood & Cancer 10/2008; 51(3):344-8. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-1 has recently been shown to promote tumour progression. Since angiogenesis is an essential requirement for tumour growth, we examined whether PARP inhibition/deletion might affect endothelial cell functions. To this end, the influence of PARP inhibitors on endothelial cell proliferation, migration, tube formation and angiogenesis in PARP-1 knock-out mice, using an in vivo matrigel plug assay, was investigated. The results indicated that the PARP inhibitor GPI 15427 (IC50 on endothelial PARP: 237 +/- 27 nM), at concentrations devoid of cytotoxic effects (0.5-1 microM), abrogated migration in response to vascular endothelial growth factor or placenta growth factor, hampered formation of tubule-like networks and impaired angiogenesis in vivo. The anti-angiogenic effect of the PARP inhibitor was confirmed in PARP-1 knock-out mice that displayed a defect of angiogenesis induced by growth factors. These results provide evidence for targeting PARP for anti-angiogenesis, adding novel therapeutic implications to the use of PARP inhibitors in cancer treatment.
    European Journal of Cancer 10/2007; 43(14):2124-33. · 5.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD) is a rare form of non-Langerhans' cell histiocytosis (LCH) of unknown etiology, characterized by diffuse histiocyte infiltration of bones and soft tissue. The purpose of this study was to assess cell proliferation and expression of cytokines, chemokines, and chemokine receptors that may potentially be important in histiocyte accumulation in ECD lesions. Biopsies were performed on 3 patients with ECD. The diagnosis of the disease was based on clinical signs including typical radiologic osteosclerosis, and on the detection of foamy CD68+,CD1a- non-Langerhans' cell histiocytes on histologic examination. The expression of the proliferation marker Ki-67 as well as of selected chemokine/chemokine receptor pairs and cytokines was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. In all samples, Ki-67 was undetectable in CD68+ histiocytes. Conversely, these cells expressed the chemokines CCL2 (monocyte chemotactic protein 1), CCL4/macrophage inflammatory protein 1beta (MIP-1beta), CCL5/RANTES, CCL20/MIP-3alpha, and CCL19/MIP-3beta, and their counter-receptors CCR1, CCR2, CCR3, CCR5, CCR6, and CCR7. Moreover, ECD histiocytes expressed interferon-gamma-inducible 10-kd protein (CXCL10), which is specifically induced by interferon-gamma, and interleukin-6 and RANKL, which are both implicated in bone remodeling. Finally, all cases showed a Th1-type lymphocyte infiltrate. Our data indicate that, similar to LCH, ECD lesions are characterized by a complex cytokine and chemokine network, which may orchestrate histiocyte activation and accumulation through an autocrine loop and contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 01/2007; 54(12):4018-22. · 7.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

192 Citations
84.07 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2013
    • Mediterranean Institute of Hematology
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2011–2012
    • CRO Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano
      • Division of Pathology
      Aviano, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy