[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wilson's disease is a rare inherited disorder of copper metabolism, manifesting hepatic, neurological and psychiatric symptoms. Early diagnosis is often unfeasible and a unique diagnostic test is currently inapplicable. We performed the qualitative/quantitative characterization of the salivary proteome/peptidome of 32 Wilson's disease patients by an integrated top-down/bottom-up approach. Patients exhibited significant higher levels of S100A9 and S100A8 proteoforms, and their oxidized forms with respect to controls. Oxidation occurred on methionine and tryptophan residues, and on the unique cysteine residue, in position 42 in S100A8, and 3 in S100A9, that generated glutathionylated, cysteinylated, sulfinic, sulfonic, and disulfide dimeric forms. Wilson's disease patient saliva showed high levels of two new fragments of the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor, and of α-defensins 2 and 4. Overall, the salivary proteome of Wilson's disease patients reflected oxidative stress and inflammatory conditions characteristic of the pathology, highlighting differences that could be useful clues of disease exacerbation.
Journal of proteomics 08/2015; 128. DOI:10.1016/j.jprot.2015.07.033 · 3.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to characterize β and α thymosins and their proteoforms in various tissues and bodily fluids by mass spectrometry and to look at their association with a wide variety of pathologies.
A top-down proteomic platform based on high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled to high-resolution LTQ-Orbitrap mass spectrometry (MS) was applied to the characterization of naturally occurring peptides.
In addition to thymosin β4 (Tβ4) and β10 (Tβ10), several post-translational modifications of both these peptides were identified not only in bodily fluids but also in normal and pathological tissues of different origins. The analysis of tissue specimens allowed the characterization of different C-terminal truncated forms of Tβ4 and Tβ10 together with other proteolytic fragments. The sulfoxide derivative of both Tβ4 and Tβ10 and the acetylated derivatives at lysine residues of Tβ4 were also characterized. Different proteoforms of prothymosin α, parathymosin α, thymosin α1 and thymosin α11 together with diverse proteolytic fragments were identified too.
The clinical and prognostic significance and the origin of these proteoforms have to be deeply investigated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To analyze the effects on the kidney of hypoxia-reoxygenation in an experimental model of normocapnic asphyxia.
To this end, 40 newborn Landrace/Large-White piglets aged 1-4 d were studied in this work. Hypoxia was induced by decreasing the inspired fiO2 to 0.06-0.08. Animals were resuscitated with different fiO2 and subdivided into 4 groups: group 1, 2, 3 and 4 received 18%, 21%, 40% and 100% O2 respectively. Macroscopic examination was carried out to evidence possible pathological features. Tissue sample were obtained from both kidneys. Four or five micron paraffin sections were stained with H-E and PAS stain and examined under an optical microscope.
Pathological changes, mainly affecting tubular cells, were observed in the vast majority of kidneys of asphyxiated piglets. The most frequent tubular changes were: tubular casts (95%), tubular dilatation (87.5%), tubular vacuolization (70%), tubular eosinophilia (52.5%), sloughing (50%), fragmentation of the brush border (50%), oedema (32.5%), apoptosis (15%) and glomerular changes (meningeal cell proliferation, capsular adhesion between the flocculus and Bowman's capsule, glomerulosclerosis and fibrous or cellular crescents associated with collapse of the glomerular tuft). Statistical analysis was carried out on changes observed when the animals were allocated in the 4 groups (χ(2)-test 0.05). The statistical analysis showed no evidence of differences regarding kidney lesions among the animals groups.
Our data show that renal pathology in newborn piglets is characterized by interindividual variability to hypoxia and is not associated with oxygen concentration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic kidney disease represents a dramatic worldwide resource-consuming problem. This problem is of increasing importance even in preterm infants, since nephrogenesis may go on only for a few weeks (4 to 6 weeks) after birth. Recent literature focusing on traditional regenerative medicine does not take into account the presence of a high number of active endogenous stem cells in the preterm kidney, which represents a unique opportunity for starting regenerative medicine in the perinatal period. Pluripotent cells of the blue strip have the capacity to generate new nephrons, improving kidney function in neonates and potentially protecting them from developing chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease in adulthood. There is a marked interindividual neonatal variability of nephron numbers. Moreover, the renal stem/progenitor cells appear as densely-packed small cells with scant cytoplasm, giving rise to a blue-appearing strip in hematoxylin-eosin-stained kidney sections ("the blue strip"). There are questions concerning renal regenerative medicine: among preliminary data, the simultaneous expression of Wilms tumor 1 and thymosin β4 in stem/progenitor cells of the neonatal kidney may bring new prospects for renal regeneration applied to renal stem cells that reside in the kidney itself. A potential approach could be to prolong the 6 weeks of postnatal renal growth of nephrons or to accelerate the growth of nephrons during the 6 weeks or both. Considering what we know today about perinatal programming, this could be an important step for the future to reduce the incidence and global health impact of chronic kidney disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Due to its actin-sequestering properties, thymosin beta-4 (Tβ4) is considered to play a significant role in the cellular metabolism. Several physiological properties of Tβ4 have been reported;, however, many questions concerning its cellular function remain to be ascertained. To better understand the role of this small peptide we have analyzed by means of transmission immunoelectron microscopy techniques the ultrastructural localization of Tβ4 in HepG2 cells. Samples of HepG2 cells were fixed in a mixture of 3% formaldehyde and 0.1% glutaraldehyde in 0.1 M cacodylate buffer and processed for standard electron microscopic techniques. The samples were dehydrated in a cold graded methanol series and embedded in LR gold resin. Ultrathin sections were labeled with rabbit antibodies to Tβ4, followed by gold-labeled goat anti-rabbit, stained with uranyl acetate and bismuth subnitrate, observed and photographed in a JEOL 100S transmission electron microscope. High-resolution electron microscopy showed that Tβ4 was mainly restricted to the cytoplasm of HepG2 growing in complete medium. A strong Tβ4 reactivity was detected in the perinuclear region of the cytoplasmic compartment where gold particles appeared strictly associated to the nuclear membrane. In the nucleus specific Tβ4 labeling was observed in the nucleolus. The above electron microscopic results confirm and extend previous observations at light microscopic level, highlighting the subcellular distribution of Tβ4 in both cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments of HepG2 cells. The meaning of Tβ4 presence in the nucleolus is not on the best of our knowledge clarified yet. It could account for the interaction of Tβ4 with nucleolar actin and according with this hypothesis, Tβ4 could contribute together with the other nucleolar acting binding proteins to modulate the transcription activity of the RNA polymerases.
PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0119642. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119642 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An important contribution to the variability of any proteome is given by the time dimension that should be carefully considered to define physiological modifications. To this purpose whole saliva proteome was investigated in a wide age range. Whole saliva was collected from 17 preterm newborns with a postconceptional age at birth of 178-217 days. In these subjects sample collection was performed serially starting immediately after birth and within about 1 year follow-up gathering a total of 111 specimens. Furthermore, whole saliva was collected from 182 subjects aged between 0 and 17 years and from 23 adults aged between 27 and 57 years. The naturally occurring intact salivary proteome of the 316 samples was analyzed by low- and high-resolution HPLC-ESI-MS platforms. Proteins peculiar of the adults appeared in saliva with different time courses during human development. Acidic proline-rich proteins encoded by PRH2 locus and glycosylated basic proline-rich proteins encoded by PRB3 locus appeared since 180 days of post-conceptional age, followed at seven months (± two weeks) by histatin 1, statherin and P-B peptide. The other histatins and acidic proline-rich proteins encoded by PRH1 locus appeared in whole saliva of babies from one to three weeks after the normal term of delivery, S-type cystatins appeared at one year (± three months) and basic proline-rich proteins at four years (± one year) of age. All the proteinases involved in the maturation of salivary proteins were more active in preterm than in at-term newborns, on the basis of the truncated forms detected. The activity of the Fam20C kinase, involved in the phosphorylation of various proteins, started around 180 days of post-conceptional age, slowly increased reaching values comparable to adults at about two years (± 6 months) of age. Instead, MAPK14 involved in the phosphorylation of S100A9 was fully active since birth also in preterm newborns.
Journal of Proteome Research 03/2015; 14(4). DOI:10.1021/pr501270x · 4.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Proteomics and metabolomics are emerging in recent years as one of the most challenging topics in neonatology. They are characterized by a large amount of data that reflect the complexity of all biological systems more accurately than traditional methods utilized in clinical chemistry. In this review paper we present the modifications of the salivary proteome, which represents an easy and non-invasive method that offers the opportunity to investigate changes in the metabolism of preterm infants and in pediatric patients. Moreover, we present the metabolomics-histologic correlations in newborn piglets at baseline and following normocapnic hypoxia and reoxygenation. A new method of data analysis, here summarized as the "triple-I" approach will be finally discussed: interdisciplinary, intersectorial, interactive.
Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 10/2014; 27 Suppl 2(S2):58-60. DOI:10.3109/14767058.2014.954807 · 1.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: The cytochrome P450 (CYP450) superfamily is implicated in important life processes, including metabolism of many molecules. CYP3A account for the largest portion of CYP450 proteins in human, including CYP3A4, CYP3A5 and CYP3A7. The purpose of this study was to investigate the immunohistochemical expression of CYP3A4 and CYP3A7 in human liver at different post-conceptional (PC) ages. Methods: Human liver samples from 30 fetuses and newborns were, clustered according with the PC age, routinely processed for immunohistochemical analysis of CYP3A4 and CYP3A7. Results: CYP3A4 was positive in all but two cases, CYP3A7 was positive in all but one case, which was negative also for CYP3A4. Conclusions: Our data on immunohistochemical detection of CYP3A4 and CYP3A7 during development show that CYP3A4 expression is not restricted to the post-natal age, being the immunostaining for both CYP3A4 and CYP3A7 identical after 25 weeks of PC age, thus the relationship between these CYP450 isoforms should be considered much more complex than previous thought. A high interindividual variability was observed among subjects at all gestational age. The variable CYP3A expression suggests the existence of a marked interindividual variability in drug metabolism during the intrauterine life and in perinatal period.
Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 09/2014; DOI:10.3109/14767058.2014.951625 · 1.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of the mammalian kidney is a complex and in part unknown process which requires interactions between pluripotential/stem cells, undifferentiated mesenchymal cells, epithelial and mesenchymal components, eventually leading to the coordinate development of multiple different specialized epithelial, endothelial and stromal cell types within the kidney architectural complexity. We will describe the embryology and molecular nephrogenetic mechanisms, a fascinating traffic of cells and tissues which takes place in five stages: (1) ureteric bud (UB) development; (2) cap mesenchyme formation; (3) mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET); (4) glomerulogenesis and tubulogenesis; (5) interstitial cell development. In particular, we will analyze the multiple cell types involved in these dramatic events as characters moving between different worlds, from the mesenchymal to the epithelial world and back, and will start to define the multiple factors that propel these cells during their travels throughout the developing kidney. Moreover, according with the hypothesis of renal perinatal programing, we will present the results reached in the fields of immunohistochemistry and molecular biology, by means of which we can explain how a loss or excess of molecular factors governing nephrogenesis may cause the onset of pathologies of different gravity, in some cases leading to a chronic kidney disease at different times from birth.
International Urology and Nephrology 09/2014; 47(1). DOI:10.1007/s11255-014-0784-0 · 1.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nephron number at birth has a relevant clinical importance with implications for long-term renal health. In recent years, the podocyte depletion hypothesis has emerged as an important concept in kidney pathology. This study was aimed at verifying if human podocyte number changes significantly during intrauterine life. To this end, sixty-two subjects with gestational age ranging from 20 up to 41 weeks were examined. Kidney sections were stained with H&E and digitally scanned at 400X magnification. Subjects were subdivided into: fetuses (gestational age ≤ 24 weeks, n=5), preterms (gestational age ≥25 and ≤ 36 weeks, n=39), and at term (gestational age ≥ 37 weeks, n=18) infants. An average podocyte number of 1908 ± 645, 1394 ± 498 and 1126 ± 256 was respectively observed in fetuses, preterms and at term infants. A significant main effect (P=0.0051) of gestational age on podocyte number was observed with a significantly lower number in at term infants than in fetuses (P<0.001). An intra-group variability was also observed. We may speculate that variations in podocyte number could be correlated to factors such as drugs and maternal diet occurred during intrauterine life. In conclusion, this study shows, for the first time, a decreasing trend in podocyte number during gestation.
American journal of physiology. Renal physiology 08/2014; 307(9). DOI:10.1152/ajprenal.00165.2014 · 3.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, evidence is growing on the role played by gestational factors in shaping brain development and on the influence of intrauterine experiences on later development of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). The nine months of intrauterine development and the first three years of postnatal life are appearing to be extremely critical for making connections among neurons and among neuronal and glial cells that will shape a lifetime of experience. Here, the multiple epigenetic factors acting during gestation - including maternal diet, malnutrition, stress, hypertension, maternal diabetes, fetal hypoxia, prematurity, low birth weight, prenatal infection, intrauterine growth restriction, drugs administered to the mother or to the baby - are reported, and their ability to modulate brain development, resulting in interindividual variability in the total neuronal and glial burden at birth is discussed. Data from recent literature suggest that prevention of neurodegeneration should be identified as the one method to halt the diffusion of neurodegenerative diseases. The "two hits" hypothesis, first introduced for PD and successfully applied to AD and other neurodegenerative human pathologies, should focus our attention on a peculiar period of our life: the intrauterine and perinatal periods. The first hit to our nervous system occurs early in life, determining a PD or AD imprinting to our brain that will condition our resistance or, alternatively, our susceptibility to develop a neurodegenerative disease later in life. In conclusion, how early life events contribute to late-life development of adult neurodegenerative diseases, including PD and AD, is emerging as a new fascinating research focus. This assumption implies that research on prevention of neurodegenerative diseases should center on events taking place early in life, during gestation and in the perinatal periods, thus presenting a new challenge to perinatologists: the prevention of neurodegenerative human diseases.
Current Medicinal Chemistry 06/2014; 21(33). DOI:10.2174/0929867321666140601163658 · 3.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Iron and copper ions play important roles in many physiological functions of our body, even though the exact mechanisms regulating their absorption, distribution and excretion are not fully understood. Metal-related human pathology may be observed in two different clinical settings: deficiency or overload. The overload in liver cells of both trace elements leads to multiple cellular lesions. Here we report the main pathological changes observed at transmission electron microscopy in the liver of subjects affected by Beta-thalassemia and by Wilson's disease. The hepatic iron overload in beta-thalassemia patients is associated with haemosiderin storage both in Kupffer cells and in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes. Haemosiderin granules are grouped inside voluminous lysosomes, also called siderosomes. Other ultrastructural changes are fat droplets, proliferation of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum and fibrosis. Apoptosis of hepatocytes and infiltration of sinusoids by polymorphonucleates is also detected in beta-thalassemia. Ultrastructural changes in liver biopsies from Wilson's disease patients are characterized by severe mitochondrial changes, associated with an increased number of perossisomes, cytoplasmic lipid droplets and the presence of lipolysosomes, characteristic cytoplasmic bodies formed by lipid vacuoles surrounded by electron-dense lysosomes. In patients affected by Wilson's disease, nuclei are frequently involved, with disorganization of the nucleoplasm and with glycogen inclusions. On the contrary, no significant changes are detected in Kupffer cells. Our data show that iron and copper, even though are both transition metals, are responsible of different pathological changes at ultrastructural level. In particular, copper overload is associated with mitochondrial damage, whereas iron overload only rarely may cause severe mitochondrial changes. These differences underlay the need for further studies in which biochemical analyses should be associated with ultrastructural data, in order to better understand the molecular ways associated with iron- and copper-related pathology at subcellular level.
Current Medicinal Chemistry 06/2014; 21(33). DOI:10.2174/0929867321666140601163244 · 3.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the last years, human newborns have been overexposed to biologically reactive aluminum, with possible relevant consequences on their future health and on their susceptibility to a variety of diseases. Children, newborns and particularly preterm neonates are at an increased risk of aluminum toxicity because of their relative immaturity.
Based on recent original publications and classical data of the literatures, we reviewed the aluminum content in mother's food during the intrauterine life as well as in breast milk and infant formula during lactation. We also determined the possible role of aluminum in parenteral nutrition solutions, in adjuvants of vaccines and in pharmaceutical products. A special focus is placed on the relationship between aluminum overexposure and the insurgence of bone diseases.
Practical points of management and prevention are suggested. Aluminum sources that infants may receive during the first 6 months of life are presented. In the context of prevention of possible adverse effects of aluminum overload in fetal tissues during development, simple suggestions to pregnant women are described. Finally, practical points of management and prevention are suggested.
Pediatricians and neonatologists must be more concerned about aluminum content in all products our newborns are exposed to, starting from monitoring aluminum concentrations in milk- and soybased formulas in which, on the basis of recent studies, there is still too much aluminum.
World Journal of Pediatrics 05/2014; 10(2):101-7. DOI:10.1007/s12519-014-0477-x · 1.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The analysis of whole saliva of 32 subjects with diagnosis of schizophrenia (SZ), 17 with diagnosis of bipolar disorder (BD), and 31 healthy subjects divided in non smokers (HN; n=19) and smokers (HS; n=12) using an HPLC-ESI-MS top-down platform is reported in this study. Both SZ and BD revealed more than 10 fold mean increase of α-defensins 1-4, S100A12, cystatin A and S-derivatives of cystatin B levels with respect to the HN and HS control groups. No differences of protein levels were observed between SZ and BD groups and between HN and HS groups. Moreover, the correlations coefficients among the different proteins were significantly better in BD group than in SZ group.
This study on whole saliva confirms a shizophrenia-associated dysregulation of immune pathway of peripheral white blood cells and suggests that the dysregulation of BD group could involve the activation of more specific cell type than those of SZ group.
Journal of proteomics 03/2014; 103. DOI:10.1016/j.jprot.2014.03.020 · 3.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cytochrome P450 superfamily (CYP450) in humans is formed by 57 functional monooxygenases critical for the metabolism of numerous endogenous and exogenous compounds. The superfamily is organized into 18 families and 44 subfamilies. CYP nomenclature is based on the identity of amino acids. The most important functions of the CYP450 are related to metabolism of endogenous compounds, detoxification of exogenous xenobiotics and decomposition of the vast majority of currently used drugs. The expression of CYP450 enzymes in the human body is characterized by a marked substrate and tissue specificity, the most important being localized in the liver, but also present in kidney, lung, brain, breast, prostate and in the small intestine. The human cytochrome P450 3A gene family (CYP3A) accounts for the largest portion of CYP450 proteins in human liver and includes 4 genes: CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP3A7, CYP3A43. Multiple and complex genetic variations, marked interindividual, interethnic and gender variability have been reported regarding CYP3A isoform expression and activity. Multiple factors may affect CYP3A expression and activity, such as inducers like rifampicin, phenobarbital, 3-methylcholantrene, beta-naphtoflavone, and dexamethasone. The maturation of organ systems, paralleled by ontogeny of drug-metabolizing enzymes during fetal life and in the first months of postnatal life, surely exerts profound effects on drug disposition, probably being the predominant factor accounting for age-associated changes in drug clearance. In fact, drug dosage in the perinatal period represents a continuous challenge for neonatologists. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief review of the pharmacokinetic differences between neonates and adults, showing the peculiarities of liver CYP450-related drug metabolism in the perinatal period and at birth, and to report the toxic mechanisms of liver injury in neonates, due to the most frequently utilized drugs in NICU centers.
International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 03/2014; 27(1):5-13. · 1.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Evaluation of neuronal changes in an animal experimental model of normocapnic hypoxia- reoxygenation.
Materials and methods:
Fifty male piglets were the study subjects; normocapnic hypoxia was induced in 40 piglets and ten were sham-operated (controls). When bradycardia and/or severe hypotension occurred, reoxygenation was initiated. Animals were allocated in 4 groups according to the oxygen concentration, they were resuscitated with 18%, 21%, 40%, and 100% O2. Persisting asystole despite 10 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and return of spontaneous circulation were the endpoints of the experiment. Surviving animals were euthanized and brain cortex samples were collected, hematoxylin and eosin-stained, and examined for apoptotic bodies observing 10 consecutive high power fields.
Histological examination of the control group did not show any pathological change. On the contrary, apoptosis of neurons was found in 87.5% of treated animals. When specimens were examined according to the oxygen concentration used for resuscitation, we found marked intergroup variability; a higher percentage of apoptotic neurons was observed in piglets of group 4 (100% oxygen) compared to the others (P=0.001).
This preliminary data shows that normocapnic hypoxia and reoxygenation in Landrace/Large White piglets resulted in significant histological changes in the brain cortex. The degree of pathological changes in cortical neurons was significantly associated with the oxygen concentration used for reoxygenation, with a higher percentage of apoptotic neurons being observed in piglets reoxygenated with 100% compared to 18% O2 and to 21% O2.