Anna Maria Fresegna

INAIL Istituto Nazionale per l'Assicurazione contro gli Infortuni sul Lavoro, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (24)48.26 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The toxicity of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs), used in several applications, seems to be influenced by their specific physicochemical characteristics. Cyto-genotoxic and inflammatory effects induced by a mixture of 79% anatase/21% rutile TiO2-NPs were investigated in human alveolar (A549) and bronchial (BEAS-2B) cells exposed to 1–40 µg ml–1 30 min, 2 and 24 h to assess potential pulmonary toxicity. The specific physicochemical properties such as crystallinity, NP size and shape, agglomerate size, surface charge and specific surface area (SSA) were analysed. Cytotoxic effects were studied by evaluating cell viability using the WST1 assay and membrane damage using LDH analysis. Direct/oxidative DNA damage was assessed by the Fpg-comet assay and the inflammatory potential was evaluated as interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α release by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA). In A549 cells no significant viability reduction and moderate membrane damage, only at the highest concentration, were detected, whereas BEAS-2B cells showed a significant viability reduction and early membrane damage starting from 10 µg ml–1. Direct/oxidative DNA damage at 40 µg ml–1 and increased IL-6 release at 5 µg ml–1 were found only in A549 cells after 2 h. The secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6, involved in the early acute inflammatory response, and oxidative DNA damage indicate the promotion of early and transient oxidative-inflammatory effects of tested TiO2-NPs on human alveolar cells. The findings show a higher susceptibility of normal bronchial cells to cytotoxic effects and higher responsiveness of transformed alveolar cells to genotoxic, oxidative and early inflammatory effects induced by tested TiO2-NPs. This different cell behaviour after TiO2-NPs exposure suggests the use of both cell lines and multiple end-points to elucidate NP toxicity on the respiratory system. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Journal of Applied Toxicology 09/2014; · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Functionalized MWCNTs are used in many commercial and biomedical applications, but their potential health effects are not well defined. We investigated and compared cytotoxic, genotoxic/oxidative, and inflammatory effects of pristine and carboxyl MWCNTs exposing human respiratory (A549 and BEAS-2B) cells to 1-40 μg/mL of CNTs for 24 h. Both MWCNTs induced low viability reduction (by WST1 assay) in A549 cells and only MWCNTs-COOH caused high viability reduction in BEAS-2B cells reaching 28.5% viability at 40 μg/mL. Both CNTs induced membrane damage (by LDH assay) with higher effects in BEAS-2B cells at the highest concentrations reaching 20% cytotoxicity at 40 μg/mL. DNA damage (by Fpg-comet assay) was induced by pristine MWCNTs in A549 cells and by both MWCNTs in BEAS-2B cells reaching for MWCNTs-COOH a tail moment of 22.2 at 40 μg/mL versus 10.2 of unexposed cells. Increases of IL-6 and IL-8 release (by ELISA) were detected in A549 cells exposed to MWCNTs-COOH from 10 μg/mL while IL-8 increased in BEAS-2B cells exposed to pristine MWCNTs at 20 and 40 μg/mL. The results show higher cytogenotoxicity of MWCNTs-COOH in bronchial and of pristine MWCNTs in alveolar cells. Different inflammatory response was also found. The findings suggest the use of in vitro models with different end points and cells to study CNT toxicity.
    BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:359506. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to identify sensitive and noninvasive biomarkers of early carcinogenic effect at target organ to use in biomonitoring studies of workers at risk for previous occupational exposure to potential carcinogens. Standard urine cytology (Papanicolaou staining test), comet assay, and quantitative telomerase repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay were performed in 159 ex-rubber workers employed in tyres production and 97 unexposed subjects. In TRAP positive cases, a second level analysis using FISH (Urovysion) was done. Cystoscopy results were available for 11 individuals whose 6 FISH/TRAP/comet positive showed in 3 cases a dysplastic condition confirmed by biopsy, 1 comet positive resulted in infiltrating UBC to the biopsy and with hyperplasia and slight dysplasia to the urinary cytology, 1 comet positive resulted in papillary superficial UBC to the biopsy, 1 FISH/TRAP positive showed a normal condition, and 2 TRAP positive showed in one case a phlogosis condition. The results evidenced good concordance of TRAP, comet, and FISH assays as early biomarkers of procarcinogenic effect confirmed by the dysplastic condition and UBC found by cystoscopy-biopsy analysis. The analysis of these markers in urine cells could be potentially more accurate than conventional cytology in monitoring workers exposed to mixture of bladder potential carcinogens.
    BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:370907. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase-1 (PARP1) is a nuclear protein implicated in DNA repair, recombination, replication, and chromatin remodeling. The aim of this study was to evaluate possible differences between PARP1-/- and wild-type mice regarding induction and repair of DNA lesions in irradiated male germ cells. Comet assay was applied to detect DNA damage in testicular cells immediately, and two hours after 4 Gy X-ray irradiation. A similar level of spontaneous and radiation-induced DNA damage was observed in PARP1-/- and wild-type mice. Conversely, two hours after irradiation, a significant level of residual damage was observed in PARP1-/- cells only. This finding was particularly evident in round spermatids. To evaluate if PARP1 had also a role in the dynamics of H2AX phosphorylation in round spermatids, in which γ-H2AX foci had been shown to persist after completion of DNA repair, we carried out a parallel analysis of γ-H2AX foci at 0.5, 2, and 48 h after irradiation in wild-type and PARP1-/- mice. No evidence was obtained of an effect of PARP1 depletion on H2AX phosphorylation induction and removal. Our results suggest that, in round spermatids, under the tested experimental conditions, PARP1 has a role in radiation-induced DNA damage repair rather than in long-term chromatin modifications signaled by phosphorylated H2AX.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2013; 14(9):18078-92. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture of chemicals, some of which are known as carcinogens. The cyto-genotoxic effects of cigarette-smoke extract (CSE) from commercial cigarettes without (A and B) and with filter (C and D) were evaluated at different CSE concentrations on A549 and BEAS-2B cells. The particle content of the cigarette smoke and the metal composition of the CSE were also analyzed. The cells were exposed to 1-10% of the CSE from one cigarette per experiment. Cytotoxicity was evaluated by use of the MTT assay after 24h, and the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay after 30min and 24h. The Fpg-modified comet assay was used to evaluate direct-oxidative DNA damage on cells exposed for 30min. As expected, unfiltered cigarette smoke (particularly from the B cigarette) contained a higher number of particles than filtered smoke. With smoke extract from the B cigarette we found a decrease in cell viability only in BEAS-2B cells. The results of the LDH test showed membrane damage for B-cigarette smoke extract, particularly in BEAS-2B cells. Extracts from unfiltered cigarette smoke induced significant direct DNA damage, to a larger extent in A549 cells. Filtered cigarette-smoke extract induced a significant direct DNA damage at 5-10%. A significant induction of oxidative DNA damage was found at the highest CSE concentration in both cell types (by smoke extracts from B and C cigarettes in A549 cells, and from A and D cigarettes in BEAS-2B cells). Smoke extracts from filter cigarettes induced less direct DNA damage than those from unfiltered cigarettes in A549 cells, probably due to a protective effect of filter. In BEAS-2B cells the smoke extract from the B-cigarette showed the highest genotoxic effect, with a concentration-dependent trend. These findings show a higher cyto-genotoxicity for smoke extracts from the B-cigarette and oxidative effects for those from the A and D cigarettes, particularly in BEAS-2B cells. Moreover, there was a higher responsiveness of A549 cells to genotoxic insult of CSE, and a cigarette-dependent genotoxicity in BEAS-2B cells. Our experimental model demonstrated to be suitable to sensitively detect early genotoxic response of different lung-cell types to non-cytotoxic concentrations of complex inhalable mixtures.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 09/2012; · 3.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemical functionalization extends CNT applications conferring them new functions, but could modify their toxicity. We compared cytotoxicity and genotoxic/oxidative effects of -OH functionalized and pristine MWCNTs to evaluated the influence of the functionalization exposing A549 cells to 1-40μg/ml of both MWCNTs for 2, 4 and 24h. Cytotoxicity was evaluated by MTT and LDH tests and apoptosis induction, direct/oxidative DNA damage by Fpg-modified comet assay. After 24h we found viability reduction significant at 20 and 40μg/ml for both the MWCNTs with a detectable viability reduction already at lower concentrations for MWCNTs. A significant LDH release was found only for MWCNTs. Significant apoptosis induction was found from 10μg/ml of MWCNT-OH. A concentration-dependent increase of direct DNA damage, significant at 40μg/ml of MWCNTs and beginning from 5μg/ml of MWCNT-OH was detected at all exposure times. Oxidative DNA damage was not observed for both CNTs. The results indicate a different cytotoxic mechanism, by membrane damage for MWCNTs and apoptosis for MWCNT-OH, that could be explained by a different cellular uptake. Moreover, we found an earlier genotoxic effect for MWCNT-OH. The findings suggest that further studies on functionalized CNTs are necessary before using them in several applications particularly in biomedical field.
    Toxicology in Vitro 05/2012; 26(6):831-40. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The increasing use of nanomaterials in consumer products highlights the importance of understanding their potential toxic effects. We evaluated cytotoxic and genotoxic/oxidative effects induced by commercial multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on human lung epithelial (A549) cells treated with 5, 10, 40 and 100 µg ml⁻¹ for different exposure times. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis, MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide] and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays were performed to evaluate cytotoxicity. Fpg-modified comet assay was used to evaluate direct-oxidative DNA damage. LDH leakage was detected after 2, 4 and 24 h of exposure and viability reduction was revealed after 24 h. SEM analysis, performed after 4 and 24 h exposure, showed cell surface changes such as lower microvilli density, microvilli structure modifications and the presence of holes in plasma membrane. We found an induction of direct DNA damage after each exposure time and at all concentrations, statistically significant at 10 and 40 µg ml⁻¹ after 2 h, at 5, 10, 100 µg ml⁻¹ after 4 h and at 10 µg ml⁻¹ after 24 h exposure. However, oxidative DNA damage was not found. The results showed an induction of early cytotoxic effects such as loss of membrane integrity, surface morphological changes and MWCNT agglomerate entrance at all concentrations. We also demonstrated the ability of MWCNTs to induce early genotoxicity. This study emphasizes the suitability of our approach to evaluating simultaneously the early response of the cell membrane and DNA to different MWCNT concentrations and exposure times in cells of target organ. The findings contribute to elucidation of the mechanism by which MWCNTs cause toxic effects in an in vitro experimental model.
    Journal of Applied Toxicology 01/2012; 32(6):454-64. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemical functionalization of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) increases their solubility, dispersion, and biological applications. Since there are only a few studies on the toxicity of functionalized MWCNTs, we investigated the cytotoxic and genotoxic-oxidative effects of OH-functionalized MWCNTs on human lung epithelial cells (A549) in order to obtain information on their biological effects. We exposed the cells to 10, 20, 40, and 100 μg/mL of commercial MWCNT-OH for 24 h. Cytotoxicity was then evaluated as the reduction in cell viability, membrane damage, and apoptosis, assessed by MTT and LDH assays and fluorescence microscopic analysis, respectively. The Fpg-modified comet assay was used to assess direct/oxidative DNA damage. We found a concentration-dependent reduction in cell viability and an increase of percentage of apoptotic cells, with no significant cellular LDH release. There was also concentration-dependent direct DNA damage but no oxidative DNA damage. These findings demonstrate the cytotoxicity of MWCNT-OH, through reduction of cell viability and induction of apoptosis without cell membrane damage, and the genotoxicity, by direct DNA damage induction, suggesting that the MWCNTs enter the cell without damaging its membrane and directly interact with the nucleus. This preliminary study highlights the need for further research to examine the potential toxicity of functionalized MWCNTs before starting to use them in biological applications.
    Journal of Nanomaterials 01/2012; 2012. · 1.55 Impact Factor
  • Fuel and Energy Abstracts 01/2011; 205.
  • Fuel and Energy Abstracts 01/2011; 205.
  • Toxicology Letters - TOXICOL LETT. 01/2010; 196.
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanism of Cr(VI) genotoxicity has still not been elucidated. We used Fpg-modified comet assay to assess direct-oxidative DNA damage on human lung (A549) and bronchial (BEAS-2B) cells exposed to 0.1, 0.5, 1.0 and 10 microm sodium chromate for 0.5, 1 and 4 h. Moreover we evaluated apoptosis by morphological analysis and caspase-3 activity, also after 24 h. On A549 cells a time-dependent DNA damage, expressed as tail DNA%, beginning from 0.5 microm was found. For oxidative DNA damage an induction after 30 min to 0.5 microm decreasing with time, and a time-dependent increase at 10 microm was found, indicating for low Cr(VI) concentration the oxidative stress as the first event followed by direct DNA damage and for the highest concentration a time-dependent increase in oxidative DNA damage. On BEAS-2B cells DNA damage was induced within 1 h at 0.5-10 microm, without changes with time, showing that BEAS-2B cells are able to resist to Cr(VI) genotoxicity. Early oxidative DNA damage at 0.1 microm decreasing with time was also found. Significant apoptosis was observed by morphological analysis in A549 cells and to a lower extent in BEAS-2B at 10 microm. The exposure to 10 microm induced caspase-3 activity after 4 h in BEAS-2B and after 24 h in A549 cells. The findings show a higher responsiveness of A549 cells to genotoxic effect of Cr(VI) and early transient oxidative DNA damage in BEAS-2B. The results emphasize the suitability of this experimental model to evaluate the early genotoxic response of different cells to non-cytotoxic concentrations of Cr(VI) on target organ.
    Journal of Applied Toxicology 10/2009; 30(3):218-25. · 2.60 Impact Factor
  • Toxicology Letters 09/2009; 189. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A causal pathway between quartz, silicosis and lung cancer has been postulated. The aim of our study was to assess cytotoxic effects induced in a human lung epithelial cell line (A549) by exposure to alpha-quartz. Cells were exposed to respirable alpha-quartz (SRM1878a, NIST) at 25, 50 or 100 microg ml(-1 )for 24 h and at 50 or 100 microg ml(-1) for 48 h. Cytotoxic effects were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), apoptotic morphology analysis with Hoechst staining and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay. In cells exposed to alpha-quartz for 24 h, a concentration-dependent bleb development and in particular the localization of blebs at the cell edge at higher concentrations were observed. The blebbing phenomenon was more evident after 48 h of exposure to 50 or to 100 microg ml(-1) of alpha-quartz and large blebs were localized at the cell edge. At the same concentrations surface smoothing was also observed. Moreover the presence of holes and tears was detected at the highest concentration both at 24 and 48 h. Results of morphological analysis with Hoechst stain evidenced an increase concentration-time dependent of apoptotic cell percentage that was more marked after 48 h exposure to 100 microg ml(-1) and a prevalence of late apoptosis stage with the increase of exposure time and concentration. Cells exposed to 50 or 100 microg ml(-1) of alpha-quartz for 24 and 48 h produced a significant increase in LDH release. The concentration-time-dependent bleb induction evidenced by SEM correlates with the increase of apoptotic cells and LDH activity release, demonstrating the onset of cytotoxic effects in human lung cells exposed to alpha-quartz.
    Journal of Applied Toxicology 06/2009; 29(6):537-44. · 2.60 Impact Factor
  • Toxicology Letters - TOXICOL LETT. 01/2008; 180.
  • Toxicology Letters - TOXICOL LETT. 01/2008; 180.
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    ABSTRACT: The increasing request of chemical safety assessment demands for the validation of alternative methods to reduce the resort to animal experimentation. Methods that evaluate reproductive toxicity are among those requiring the largest use of animals. Presently, no validated in vitro alternative exists for the assessment of reproductive toxicity. Mammalian sperm are sensitive targets of DNA-reactive chemicals, which form premutagenic adducts. Here, we propose a new method based on comet assay to detect DNA damage induced by potential germ cell mutagens in bull sperm available from assisted reproduction practices. In somatic cells, chemical-induced adducts can be revealed by comet assay that detects DNA breaks produced during adduct repair. Mature sperm, however, are devoid of repair enzymes, and adducts are processed only after fertilization. For this reason, comet assay is not sensitive to detect DNA lesions induced in sperm by most chemicals. To overcome such limitation, we developed a modified comet assay based on the addition of a protein extract from HeLa cells to agarose-embedded sperm on microscopic slides. To test the method, sperm were treated in vitro with methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) or melphalan (MLP) and comet assay was conducted both with and without protein supplementation. No effect of MMS or MLP was detected without protein supplementation; on the contrary, a clear-cut dose-dependent effect was measured after addition of the cell extract. These results represent a proof of concept of a novel in vitro mutagenicity test on sperm that could offer a promising approach to complement previously validated in vivo germ cell genotoxicity assays.
    Toxicological Sciences 11/2007; 99(2):545-52. · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The trace element vanadium interacts with living cells, in which it exerts a variety of biological effects depending on its chemical form and oxidation state. Tetravalent vanadium was shown to affect several genotoxicity end-points in vitro, but its genotoxic potential in vivo is not elucidated. In this study, the genotoxic effects induced in vivo by subacute oral exposure to vanadyl sulphate (VOSO4), a tetravalent vanadium salt, were investigated. To this aim male CD1 mice were administered with VOSO4 in drinking water over the dose range 2-1000 mg/l for 5 weeks. The incidence of micronucleated blood reticulocytes was measured along treatment period. At the end of treatment, micronuclei in both blood reticulocytes and bone marrow polychromatic erythrocytes were determined; in addition, DNA lesions detectable by comet assay were assessed in marrow and testicular cells. Tissue distribution of vanadium at sacrifice was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Comet assays and the analysis of micronuclei in polychromatic erythrocytes did not reveal treatment related effects. A slight increase in micronucleated reticulocytes, with no relationship with the administered dose, was observed in some treated groups. The determination of vanadium content in kidney, liver, spleen, bone, stomach, small intestine and testis highlighted low internal exposure, especially in soft tissues. Overall, data indicate scarce bioavailability for orally administered tetravalent vanadium, and lack of significant genotoxic potential in vivo.
    Toxicology Letters 05/2007; 170(1):11-8. · 3.15 Impact Factor
  • Toxicology Letters - TOXICOL LETT. 01/2007; 172.
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to investigate whether 24 h exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields similar to those emitted by mobile phones induces genotoxic effects and/or effects on cell cycle kinetics in cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes. The effect of 900 MHz exposure (GSM signal) was evaluated at four specific absorption rates (SARs, 0, 1, 5 and 10 W/kg peak values). The exposures were carried out in wire patch cells under strictly controlled conditions of both temperature and dosimetry, and the induction of genotoxic effects was evaluated in lymphocyte cultures from 10 healthy donors by applying the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay. Positive controls were provided by using mitomycin C. Two research groups were involved in the study, one at ENEA, Rome, and the other at CNR-IREA, Naples. Each laboratory tested five donors, and the resulting slides were scored by both laboratories. Following this experimental scheme, it was also possible to compare the results obtained by cross-scoring of slides. The results obtained provided no evidence for the existence of genotoxic or cytotoxic effects in the range of SARs investigated. These findings were confirmed in the two groups of five donors examined in the two laboratories and when the same slides were scored by two operators.
    Radiation Research 07/2006; 165(6):655-63. · 2.70 Impact Factor