Giammaria Giuliani

Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Apulia, Italy

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Publications (10)31.88 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Extracts and products (roots and/or aerial parts) from Echinacea ssp. represent a profitable market sector for herbal medicines thanks to different functional features. Alkamides and polyacetylenes, phenols like caffeic acid and its derivatives, polysaccharides and glycoproteins are the main bioactive compounds of Echinacea spp. This study aimed at investigating the capacity of selected lactic acid bacteria to enhance the antimicrobial, antioxidant and immune-modulatory features of E. purpurea with the prospect of its application as functional food, dietary supplement or pharmaceutical preparation. RESULTS: Echinacea purpurea suspension (5%, wt/vol) in distilled water, containing 0.4% (wt/vol) yeast extract, was fermented with Lactobacillus plantarum POM1, 1MR20 or C2, previously selected from plant materials. Chemically acidified suspension, without bacterial inoculum, was used as the control to investigate functional features. Echinacea suspension fermented with Lb. plantarum C2 exhibited a marked antimicrobial activity towards Gram-positive and -negative bacteria. Compared to control, the water-soluble extract from Echinacea suspension fermented with Lactobacillus plantarum 1MR20 showed twice time higher radical scavenging activity on DPPH. Almost the same was found for the inhibition of oleic acid peroxidation. The methanol extract from Echinacea suspension had inherent antioxidant features but the activity of extract from the sample fermented with strain 1MR20 was the highest. The antioxidant activities were confirmed on Balb 3T3 mouse fibroblasts. Lactobacillus plantarum C2 and 1MR20 were used in association to ferment Echinacea suspension, and the water-soluble extract was subjected to ultra-filtration and purification through RP-FPLC. The antioxidant activity was distributed in a large number of fractions and proportional to the peptide concentration. The antimicrobial activity was detected only in one fraction, further subjected to nano-LC-ESI-MS/MS. A mixture of eight peptides was identified, corresponding to fragments of plantaricins PlnH or PlnG. Treatments with fermented Echinacea suspension exerted immune-modulatory effects on Caco-2 cells. The fermentation with Lb. plantarum 1MR20 or with the association between strains C2 and 1MR20 had the highest effect on the expression of TNF-[unknown][unknown]gene. CONCLUSIONS: E. purpurea subjected to lactic acid fermentation could be suitable for novel applications as functional food dietary supplements or pharmaceutical preparations.
    Microbial Cell Factories 05/2013; 12(1):44. · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wheat flour, which was rendered gluten-free by sourdough lactic acid bacteria fermentation and fungal proteases, was used for manufacturing experimental gluten-free pasta (E-GFp), according to a traditional process with low temperature drying cycle. Chemical, technological, structural, nutritional and sensory features were characterized and compared with those of commercial gluten-free (C-GFp) and durum wheat pasta (C-DWp). As shown through immunological analyses, the residual concentration of gluten of the hydrolyzed wheat flour was below 10 ppm. E-GFp showed rapid water uptake and shorter optimal cooking time compared to the other pastas. Despite the absence of the gluten network, the supplementation with pre-gelatinized rice flour allowed structural properties of E-GFp, which were comparable to those of C-GFp. The in vitro protein digestibility of E-GFp resulted the highest. Probably due to proteolysis during sourdough fermentation; chemical scores, essential amino acid profile, biological value and nutritional index of E-GFp were higher than those of C-DWp. The hydrolysis index (HI) of E-GFp was ca. 30% lower than that found for C-GFp. As shown by sensory analysis, the characteristic of E-GFp were acceptable. The manufacture of E-GFp should be promising to expand the choice of gluten-free foods, which combine sensory and nutritional properties.
    Journal of Cereal Science 01/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hair follicle (HF) regression is characterized by the activation of apoptosis in HF cells. Dermal papilla cells play a leading role in the regulation of HF development and cycling. Human follicular dermal papilla cells (HFDPC) were used to investigate the protective activities of rutin, sperimidine and zeaxanthine. HFDP cell incubation with staurosporine caused apoptosis, which was completely inhibited by exposure to rutin (2.2 μm), spermidine (1 μm) and zeaxanthin (80 μm). These agents were much less effective when applied as single compounds. Moreover, treatment preserved the expression of anti-apoptotic molecules such as Bcl-2, MAP-kinases and their phosphorylated forms. In conclusion, the investigated agents may represent an effective treatment for the prevention of apoptosis, one of the leading events involved in hair bulb regression.
    Experimental Dermatology 09/2012; · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plantaricin A (PlnA) is a peptide with antimicrobial and pheromone activities. PlnA was synthesized chemically and used as a pure peptide or synthesized biologically using Lactobacillus plantarum DC400 co-cultured with Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis DPPMA174. Cell-free supernatant (CFS) was used as a crude PlnA preparation. As estimated using the 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide and the 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate assays, both PlnA preparations increased the antioxidant defenses of human NCTC 2544 keratinocytes. PlnA (10 μg/ml) had a higher activity than hyaluronic acid or 125 μg/ml α-tocopherol. Effects on the transcriptional regulation of filaggrin (FLG), involucrin (IVL), hyaluronan synthase (HAS2), human β-defensin-2 (HBD-2) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) genes were assayed. Compared with the control, expression of the FLG gene in NCTC 2544 cells increased in cells treated with hyaluronic acid, 1 or 10 μg/ml PlnA. Compared with the control, the level of IVL gene expression increased in NCTC 2544 cells treated with 10 μg/ml PlnA. No significant difference was found between the level of the HAS2 gene expressed by control cells and cells treated with PlnA. Compared with chemically synthesized PlnA, the up-regulation of the HBD-2 gene by CFS was higher. Compared with the control, expression of TNF-α decreased in NCTC 2544 cells after treatment with 1 or 10 μg/ml of chemically synthesized PlnA. In contrast, the level of TNF-α was highest in the presence of 10 μg/ml CFS-PlnA. These findings suggest that the PlnA was positively sensed by human keratinocytes, promoting antioxidant defenses, barrier functions and antimicrobial activity of the skin.
    Experimental Dermatology 05/2012; 21(9):665-71. · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This work showed the effect of pheromone plantaricin A (PlnA) on the proliferation and migration of the human keratinocytes NCTC 2544. PlnA was chemically synthesized and used as pure peptide or biologically synthesized during co-cultivation of Lactobacillus plantarum DC400 and Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis DPPMA174. The cell-free supernatant (CFS) was used as the crude preparation containing PlnA. The inductive effect of PlnA on the proliferation of NCTC 2544 cells was higher than that found for hyaluronic acid, a well known skin protective compound. As shown by scratch assay and image analyses, PlnA enhanced the migration of NCTC 2544 cells. Compared to the basal serum free medium (control), the highest inductive effect was found using 10μg/ml of chemically synthesized PlnA. Similar results (P>0.05) were found for CFS. In agreement, the percentage of the starting scratch area was decreased after treatment (24h) with PlnA. The expression of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), keratinocyte growth factor 7 (FGF7), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) genes was affected by PlnA. Compared to control, TGF-β1 gene was under expressed in the first 4h of treatments and up-regulated after 8-24h. On the contrary, FGF7 gene was strongly up-regulated in the first 4h of treatments. Compared to control, VEGF-A and IL-8 genes were always up-regulated during the 4-24h from scratching. Since capable of promoting the proliferation and migration of the human keratinocytes and of stimulating IL-8 cytokine, the use of PlnA for dermatological purposes should be considered.
    Peptides 07/2011; 32(9):1815-24. · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Investigative Dermatology 01/2011; · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One hundred and three strains of lactic acid bacteria, isolated from various food ecosystems, were assayed for β-glucosidase activity toward p-nitrophenyl-β-D-glucopyranoside substrate. Lactobacillus plantarum DPPMA24W and DPPMASL33, Lactobacillus fermentum DPPMA114, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus DPPMAAZ1 showed the highest activities and were selected as the mixed starter to ferment various soy milk preparations, which mainly differed for chemical composition, protein dispersibility index, and size dimension. The soy milk made with organically farmed soybeans (OFS) was selected as the best preparation. All selected strains grew well in OFS soy milk, reaching almost the same values of cell density (ca. 8.5 log cfu/mL). After 96 h of fermentation with the selected mixed starter, OFS soy milk contained 57.0 μM daidzein, 140.3 μM genistein, 20.4 μM glycitein, and 37.3 μM equol. Fermented and nonfermented OFS soy milks were used for the in vitro assays on intestinal human Caco-2/TC7 cells. Fermented OFS soy milk markedly inhibited the inflammatory status of Caco-2/TC7 cells as induced by treatment with interferon-γ (IFN-γ) (1000 U/mL) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (100 ng/mL), maintained the integrity of the tight junctions, even if subjected to negative stimulation by IFN-γ, and markedly inhibited the synthesis of IL-8, after treatment with interleukin-1β (2 ng/mL). As shown by using chemical standards, these effects were due to the concomitant activities of isoflavone aglycones and, especially, equol, which were synthesized in the fermented OFS soy milk preparation.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 10/2010; 58(19):10338-46. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study was aimed at showing the safety, for young patients with celiac disease (CD), of sweet baked goods made of wheat flour, which was rendered gluten-free during sourdough fermentation. As shown by R5 antibody-based sandwich and competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), selected lactobacilli and fungal proteases, routinely used in bakeries, degraded gluten to <10 ppm during sourdough fermentation. The resulting flour was mainly a mixture of water-/salt-soluble low-size peptides and free amino acids. Gliadin and glutenin fractions extracted from the pepsin-trypsin (PT) digest of the fermented wheat flour induced the expression of interferon (IFN)-γ at the level comparable with the negative control. After fermentation, the wheat flour was spray dried and used for making sweet baked goods. Eight patients with CD in remission were enrolled for the clinical challenge, and they daily consumed 200 g of sweet baked goods equivalent to 10 g of native gluten. Hematology, serology (total serum IgA, IgG and IgA antigluten, endomysial and tissue transglutaminase IgA antibodies), and intestinal permeability analyses were carried out over time. One patient interrupted the trial after 15 days and another after 30 days only due to difficulties in the compliance of the daily consumption. All of the other patients showed normal values of hematology, serology, and intestinal permeability during 60 days of challenge. This study showed that a wheat flour-fermented product, having gluten completely degraded, is not toxic for patients with CD. Nevertheless, these foods should not be recommended for patients with celiac disease until a formal trial has been done.
    Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition 10/2010; 51(6):777-83. · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Agriculture surplus were used as substrates to synthesize gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) by Lactobacillus plantarum DSM19463 for the manufacture of a functional beverage or as a novel application for dermatological purposes. Dilution of the grape must to 1 or 4% (w/v) of total carbohydrates favored higher cell yield and synthesis of GABA with respect to whey milk. Optimal conditions for synthesizing GABA in grape must were: initial pH 6.0, initial cell density of Log 7.0 cfu/mL, and addition of 18.4 mM L-glutamate. L. plantarum DSM19463 synthesized 4.83 mM of GABA during fermentation at 30 degrees C for 72 h. The fermented grape must also contain various levels of niacin, free minerals, and polyphenols, and Log 10.0 cfu/g of viable cells of L. plantarum DSM19463. Freeze dried preparation of grape must was applied to the SkinEthic(R) Reconstructed Human Epidermis or multi-layer human skin model (FT-skin tissue). The effect on transcriptional regulation of human beta-defensin-2 (HBD-2), hyaluronan synthase (HAS1), filaggrin (FGR), and involucrin genes was assayed through RT-PCR. Compared to GABA used as pure chemical compound, the up-regulation HBD-2 was similar while the effect on the expression of HAS1 and FGR genes was higher.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 12/2009; 86(2):731-41. · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Forty-six strains of sourdough lactic acid bacteria were screened for proteolytic activity and acidification rate in gluten-free (GF) flours. The sourdough cultures consisted of Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis LS40 and LS41 and Lactobacillus plantarum CF1 and were selected and used for the manufacture of GF bread. Fermentation occurred in two steps: (i) long-time fermentation (16 h) and (ii) fast fermentation (1.5 h) using the previous fermented sourdough as inoculum (ca. 43%, wt/wt) with Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast). GF bread started with baker's yeast alone was used as the control. Gluten was added to ingredients before fermentation to simulate contamination. Initial gluten concentration of 400 ppm was degraded to below 20 ppm only in the sourdough GF bread. Before baking, sourdough GF bread showed phytase activity ca. sixfold higher than that of GF bread started with baker's yeast alone. Atomic absorption spectrophotometric analysis revealed that the higher phytase activity resulted in an increased availability of free Ca2+, Zn2+, and Mg2+. The concentration of free amino acids also was the highest in sourdough GF bread. Sourdough GF bread had a higher specific volume and was less firm than GF bread started with baker's yeast alone. This study highlighted the use of selected sourdough cultures to eliminate risks of contamination by gluten and to enhance the nutritional properties of GF bread.
    Journal of food protection 08/2008; 71(7):1491-5. · 1.83 Impact Factor