Raffaella La Scaleia

Sapienza University of Rome, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (5)14.84 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mucosal interleukin (IL)-17A-producing T cells contribute to protective antimicrobial responses and to epithelial barrier integrity; their role in celiac disease (CD) is debated. We analyzed the frequency and developmental dynamics of mucosal (intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL)) and circulating (peripheral blood (PB)) IL-17A (T17) and/or interferon (IFN)-γ-producing (T1, T1/T17) T-cell populations in 86 pediatric controls and 116 age-matched CD patients upon phorbol myristate acetate/ionomycin or CD3/CD28 stimulation. T17 and T1/17 are physiologically present among IEL and PB populations, and their frequency is selectively and significantly reduced in CD IEL. The physiological age-dependent increase of Th17 IEL is also absent in CD, while IFN-γ-producing PB-T cells significantly accumulate with patient's age. Finally, the amplitude of IL-17A+ and IFN-γ+ T-cell pools are significantly correlated in different individuals; this relationship only applies to CD4+ T cells in controls, while it involves also the CD4- counterpart in CD patients. In conclusion, both size and dynamics of mucosa-associated and circulating IL-17A+ T-cell pools are finely regulated in human pediatric subjects, and severely disturbed in CD. The impaired IL-17A+ IEL-T pool may negatively impact on epithelial barrier efficiency, and contribute to CD mucosa damage; the disturbed dynamics of circulating IL-17A+ and IFN-γ+ T-cell pools may be involved in the extraintestinal autoimmune manifestations associated with CD.
    Mucosal Immunology 05/2012; 5(5):513-23. · 7.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dysregulated innate immune responses play an important role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). NKG2D innate immunity receptor is a major sensor of tissue damage that, by recognizing multiple stress-induced, cell-associated ligands (MIC-A/B and ULBP1-5), potentiates the effector functions of "innate-like" (γ/δ TcR+, and natural killer receptor+ [NKR+]) T-cell populations. We analyzed the representivity, NKG2D/ligand expression pattern, and functional ability of the major innate immunity cell populations in pediatric IBD patients. We analyzed 41 Crohn's disease (CD) patients, 33 ulcerative colitis (UC) patients, and 51 age-matched non-IBD controls. The expression of NKG2D and its ligands, interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) production, and cytotoxic granule release were assessed by immunostaining and multiparameter cytofluorimetric analysis on circulating and mucosal mononuclear subsets; the inflammatory infiltrate was also characterized by immunohistochemistry. The expression pattern of NKG2D receptor and its ligands on mucosal and circulating innate immunity populations is severely disturbed in IBD; NKG2D and ligands are upregulated on immune infiltrate in both CD and UC active lesions; receptor/ligand upregulation also occurs on circulating leukocyte populations, where it depends on both disease activity and type (UC vs. CD). Finally, the frequency and effector capability of peripheral blood "innate-like" T-cell populations are also altered in IBD patients. The circulating and mucosal innate immunity compartment is phenotypically and functionally altered in pediatric IBD; some alterations may represent a distinctive feature of the pediatric disease condition. The disturbance of NKG2D/ligand pathway may play a role in sustaining immune activation which leads to chronic inflammatory tissue damage. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2012).
    Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 01/2012; 18(10):1910-22. · 5.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (TR cells) play a crucial role in the regulation of intestinal inflammation. To examine the pathogenetic relevance of TR cells in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), we evaluated their frequency in peripheral blood and inflamed and noninflamed mucosae of pediatric patients with IBD and age-matched controls without IBD; we also characterized the immune profile of the inflammatory infiltrate in the different phases of the disease. Circulating TR cells were investigated on peripheral blood mononuclear cells by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis; mucosal TR cells and inflammatory cell populations were investigated by immunohistochemistry on bioptic specimens. FOXP3 messenger RNA expression levels were confirmed using real-time polymerase chain reaction. FOXP3+ TR cells were significantly increased in the intestinal lesions of patients with active IBD, and returned to normal levels in posttherapy remission phase. At variance, circulating TR cell frequency was elevated in patients with IBD independently of disease activity, as it persisted in the remission phase. A selective imbalance in the frequency of CD4+ T and natural killer cell subsets characterized the abundant inflammatory infiltrate of active intestinal lesions, and also persisted, at a lower level, in noninflamed mucosae of patients in the remission phase. TR cell frequency is differently regulated in mucosal tissues and at the systemic level during the distinct phases of pediatric IBD. The inactive stage of pediatric IBD is characterized by an incomplete normalization of the immune profile, independently of the clinical efficacy of the therapy. The pediatric, early-onset condition may represent a privileged observatory to dissect the immune-mediated pathogenetic mechanisms at the basis of the disease.
    Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition 09/2010; 51(5):563-72. · 2.18 Impact Factor
  • Digestive and Liver Disease - DIG LIVER DIS. 01/2010; 42.
  • Digestive and Liver Disease - DIG LIVER DIS. 01/2008; 40(10).