G Sica

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart , Milano, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (137)295.9 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Cancer stem cells (CSC) were isolated via a non-adherent neurosphere assay from three glioma cell lines: LI, U87, and U373. Using a clonal assay, two clones (D2 and F11) were selected from spheres derived from LI cells and were characterized for the: expression of stem cell markers (CD133, Nestin, Musashi-1 and Sox2); proliferation; differentiation capability (determined by the expression of GalC, βIII-Tubulin and GFAP); Ca2+ signaling and tumorigenicity in nude mice. Both D2 and F11 clones expressed higher levels of all stem cell markers with respect to the parental cell line. Clones grew more slowly than LI cells with a two-fold increase in duplication time. Markers of differentiation (βIII-Tubulin and GFAP) were expressed at high levels in both LI cells and in neurospheres. The expression of Nestin, Sox2, and βIII-Tubulin was down-regulated in D2 and F11 when cultured in serum-containing medium, whereas Musashi-1 was increased. In this condition, duplication time of D2 and F11 increased without reaching that of LI cells. D2, F11 and parental cells did not express voltage-dependent Ca2+-channels but they exhibited increased intracellular Ca2+ levels in response to ATP. These Ca2+ signals were larger in LI cells and in spheres cultured in serum-containing medium, while they were smaller in serum-free medium. The ATP treatment did not affect cell proliferation. Both D2 and F11 induced the appearance of tumors when ortotopically injected in athymic nude mice at a density 50-fold lower than that of LI cells. All these data indicate that both clones have characteristics of CSC and share the same stemness properties. The findings regarding the expression of differentiation markers and Ca2+-channels show that both clones are unable to reach the terminal differentiation. Both D2 and F11 might represent a good model to improve the knowledge on CSC in glioblastoma and to identify new therapeutic approaches.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e105166. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Skeletal muscle atrophy occurs during disuse and aging, or as a consequence of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. It is characterized by progressive loss of muscle tissue due to hypotrophic changes, degeneration, and an inability of the regeneration machinery to replace damaged myofibers. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a proinflammatory cytokine known to mediate muscle atrophy in many chronic diseases and to inhibit skeletal muscle regeneration. In this study, we investigated the role of Arg-vasopressin-(AVP-)dependent pathways in muscles in which atrophy was induced by local overexpression of TNF. AVP is a potent myogenesis-promoting factor and is able to enhance skeletal muscle regeneration by stimulating Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase and calcineurin signaling. We performed morphological and molecular analyses and demonstrated that local over-expression of the AVP receptor V1a enhances regeneration of atrophic muscle. By upregulating the regeneration/differentiation markers, modulating the inflammatory response, and attenuating fibrogenesis, the stimulation of AVP-dependent pathways creates a favourable environment for efficient and sustained muscle regeneration and repair even in the presence of elevated levels of TNF. This study highlights a novel in vivo role for AVP-dependent pathways, which may represent an interesting strategy to counteract muscle decline in aging or in muscular pathologies.
    BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:235426. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reelin is a large secreted extracellular matrix glycoprotein which contributes to positioning, migration and laminar organization of several central nervous system structures during neurodevelopment. Recent studies reported the expression of Ree-lin and its intracellular adapter protein DAB1 in neuroblastoma, where it appears to be involved in cell motility and invasiveness. Interestingly, our data obtained by immunolocalization analysis show the expression of Reelin in both tumor and peritu-moral area of glioblastoma (GBM). It is known that many solid tumors may originate from cancer stem cells (CSC) which are usually resistant to common therapies and might be involved in tumor progression. Therefore, we evaluated the expression of Reelin in CSC neurospheres isolated from both tumor (GCSC) and peritumoral area (PCSC) of GBM. Immunocytochemistry analysis showed the expression of Reelin in both cell types, suggesting that this protein may contribute to neurosphere tridimen-sional organization and possibly to cell migration during tumor progression. This is the first evidence of Reelin expression in human GBM which might indicate a piv-otal role of this protein in the regulation of tumor development. Our data may open potential avenues for GBM treatment by targeting Reelin signaling activity. References [1] Biamonte et al. (2009) Interactions between neuroactive steroids and Reelin haploinsufficiency in Purkinje cell survival. Neurobiol Dis 36(1): 103-15. [2] Becker et al. (2012) Reelin signalling in neuroblastoma: migratory switch in metastatic stages. Int J Oncol 41(2): 681-9.
    67 Congresso Nazionale SIAI, Brescia, Italy; 09/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Caveolin-1 (CAV1) is the principal structural component of caveolae which functions as scaffolding protein for the integration of a variety of signaling pathways. In this study, we investigated the involvement of CAV1 in endothelial cell functions and show that siRNA-induced CAV1 silencing in the human EC line EA.hy926 induces distinctive morphological changes, such as a marked increase in cell size and formation of stress fibers. Design-based stereology was employed in this work to make unbiased quantification of morphometric properties such as volume, length and surface of CAV1 silenced vs. control cells. In addition, we showed that down regulation CAV1 affects cell cycle progression at G1/S phase transition most likely by perturbation of AKT signaling. With the aim to assess the contribution of CAV1 to typical biological processes of EC, we report here that CAV1 targeting affected cell migration and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) activity, and reduced angiogenesis in response to VEGF, in vitro. Taken together our data suggest that the proper expression of CAV1 is important not only for maintaining the appropriate morphology and size of endothelial cells but it might represent a prospective molecular target for studying key biological mechanisms such as senescence and tumorigenesis. J. Cell. Biochem. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 03/2013; · 3.06 Impact Factor
  • Gigliola Sica
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    ABSTRACT: The therapeutic use of stem cells and tissue engineering techniques are emerging in urology. Here, stem cell types, their differentiating potential and fundamental characteristics are illustrated. The cancer stem cell hypothesis is reported with reference to the role played by stem cells in the origin, development and progression of neoplastic lesions. In addition, recent reports of results obtained with stem cells alone or seeded in scaffolds to overcome problems of damaged urinary tract tissue are summarized. Among others, the application of these biotechnologies in urinary bladder, and urethra are delineated. Nevertheless, apart from the ethical concerns raised from the use of embryonic stem cells, a lot of questions need to be solved concerning the biology of stem cells before their widespread use in clinical trials. Further investigation is also required in tissue engineering utilizing animal models.
    Urologia 02/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: High cell-surface GnRH receptor (GnRH-R) levels have been shown to have a major influence on the extent of GnRH agonist-mediated tumor growth inhibition. The ability of the GnRH agonist leuprorelin acetate (LA) to induce a post-transcriptional upregulation of GnRH-R at the plasma membrane of androgen-sensitive (LNCaP) and -insensitive (PC-3) prostate cancer (PCa) cells has been previously demonstrated by Western blotting. Here we performed single molecule force spectroscopy by using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), which has proven to be a powerful tool allowing for investigation of living cell surface biological features, such as the so far unclear GnRH agonist/receptor interaction. Thus, in the hormone-insensitive PC-3 cells, we characterized the strength of the LA-receptor binding, and the amount and distribution of the functional receptor molecules on the cell surface. The effect of a long and continuous treatment (up to 30 days) with the agonist (10(-11) and 10(-6) M) on the same parameters was also investigated. A GnRH-R increase was observed, reaching the maximum (∼80%) after 30 days of treatment with the highest dose of LA (10(-6) M). The analogue-induced increase in GnRH-R was also demonstrated by Western blotting. In addition, two different receptor bound strengths were detected by AFM, which suggests the existence of two GnRH-R classes. A homogeneous distribution of the unbinding events has been found on untreated and treated PC-3 cell surfaces. The persistence of high receptor levels at the membrane of these living cells may warrant the maintenance of the response to LA also in androgen-unresponsive PCa. Moreover, the determination of ligand/receptor bond strength could shed light on the poorly understood event of LA/GnRH-R interaction and/or address structural/chemical agonist optimizations.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e52530. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The gene expression pattern of glioblastoma (GBM) is well documented but the expression profile of brain adjacent to tumor is not yet analysed. This may help to understand the oncogenic pathway of GBM development. We have established the genome-wide expression profiles of samples isolated from GBM tumor mass, white matter adjacent to tumor (apparently free of tumor cells), and white matter controls by using the Affymetrix HG-U133 arrays. Array-CGH (aCGH) was also performed to detect genomic alterations. Among genes dysregulated in peritumoral white matter, 15 were over-expressed, while 42 were down-regulated when compared to white matter controls. A similar expression profile was detected in GBM cells. Growth, proliferation and cell motility/adhesion-associated genes were up-regulated while genes involved in neurogenesis were down-regulated. Furthermore, several tumor suppressor genes along with the (a member of natural killer receptor) were also down-regulated in the peritumoral brain tissue. Several mosaic genomic lesions were detected by aCGH, mostly in tumor samples and several GBM-associated mosaic genomic lesions were also present in the peritumoral brain tissue, with a similar mosaicism pattern. Our data could be explained by a dilution of genes expressed from tumor cells infiltrating the peritumour tissue. Alternatively, these findings could be substained by a relevant amount of "apparently normal" cells presenting a gene profile compatible with a precancerous state or even "quiescent" cancer cells. Otherwise, the recurrent tumor may arise from both infiltrating tumor cells and from an interaction and recruitment of apparently normal cells in the peritumor tissue by infiltrating tumor cells.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e57145. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Treatment of glioblastoma recurrence can have a palliative aim, after considering risks and potential benefits. The aim of this study is to verify the impact of surgery and of palliative adjuvant treatments on survival after recurrence. METHODS: From January 2002 to June 2008, we treated 76 consecutive patients with recurrent glioblastoma. Treatment was: 1-surgery alone - 17 patients; 2-adjuvant-therapy alone - 24 patients; 3-surgery and adjuvant therapy - 16 patients; no treatment - 19 patients. The impact on median overall-survival (OS-time between recurrence and death/last follow-up) of age, Karnofsky performance scale (KPS), resection extent and adjuvant treatment scheme (Temozolomide alone vs low-dose fractionated radiotherapy vs others) was determined. Survival curves were obtained through the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional-hazards was used for multivariate analyses. Significance was set at p<0.05. RESULTS: Median OS was 7 months. At univariate analysis, patients with a KPS≥70 had a longer OS (9 months vs 5 months -p<0.0001). OS was 6 months for patients treated with surgery alone, 5 months for patients that received no treatment, 8 months for patients treated with chemotherapy alone, 14 months for patients treated with surgery and adjuvant therapy-p=0.01. Patients with a KPS<70 were significantly at risk for death - HR 2.8 -p=0.001. Subgroup analysis showed no significant differences between patients receiving gross total or partial tumor resection and among patients receiving different adjuvant therapy schemes. Major surgical morbidity at tumor recurrence occurred in 16 out of 33 patients (48%). CONCLUSION: It is fundamental, before deciding to operate patients for recurrence, to carefully consider the impact of surgical morbidity on outcome.
    Clinical neurology and neurosurgery 09/2012; · 1.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Celiac disease (CD)-associated inflammation is characterized by high interleukin- 21 (IL-21), but the mechanisms that control IL-21 production are not fully understood. Here we analyzed IL-21 cell sources and examined how IL-21 production is regulated in CD. Intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) and lamina propria lymphocytes (LPLs), isolated from CD patients and non-CD controls, were analyzed for cell markers, cytokines, and transcription factors by flow cytometry. IL-21 was highly produced by CD4+ and CD4+/CD8+ IELs and LPLs in active CD. IL-21-producing cells coexpressed interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and to a lesser extent T helper type 17 (Th17) cytokines. Treatment of control LPLs with IL-15, a cytokine overproduced in CD, activated Akt and STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3), thus enhancing IL-21 synthesis. Active CD biopsies contained elevated levels of Akt, and blockade of IL-15 in those samples reduced IL-21. Similarly, neutralization of IL-15 in biopsies of inactive CD patients inhibited peptic-tryptic digest of gliadin-induced IL-21 expression. These findings indicate that in CD, IL-15 positively regulates IL-21 production.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication 11 July 2012. doi:10.1038/mi.2012.65.
    Mucosal Immunology 07/2012; · 7.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stroma affects the development and the structure of many organs and plays an important role in regulating epithelial malignancies, including those derived from the prostate. Fibroblasts represent the major cell type of the stromal compartment. Aiming at clarifying the relationships between normal fibroblasts and epithelial cancer cells, we utilized a co-culture system, which included both androgen-sensitive (LNCaP) and -insensitive (PC-3, DU-145) prostate cancer cell lines and a human gingival fibroblast cell line (FG). The morphological aspects of the cultures were analyzed under an inverted phase-contrast microscope; the proliferation in conditioned media (CM) was assessed by cell counts, and the E-cadherin expression was evaluated by immunocytochemistry. In co-culture, androgen-sensitive LNCaP cells grew in a network on the top of the monolayer formed by FG, while colonies of androgen-insensitive PC-3 and DU-145 cells were surrounded by FG cells. After six days, the LNCaP cell number was apparently lower in the co-cultures than in the plates where they grew alone. Both LNCaP and FG cells underwent morphological changes. After the same period of time, the growth of PC-3 and DU-145 cells overcame the growth of FG cells, which were almost abolished. The CM of FG inhibited the proliferation of LNCaP cells, after three days by 33% (p<0.01) and after six days by up to 82% (p<0.01), but had no effect on the PC-3 and DU-145 cell growth. The CM of all three prostate cancer cell lines reduced the growth of FG. Growth reduction in DU-145 cells was the most effective (50% inhibition after three days, p<0.01, and 55% after six days, p<0.01). FG did not express E-cadherin, while strong E-cadherin staining was detected in LNCaP cells. PC-3 cells exhibited E-cadherin nuclear staining, while sporadic membrane expression of the specific protein was observed in DU-145 cells. In co-culture, there seemed to be a reduction in the nuclear E-cadherin reactivity of PC-3 cells. Our data confirm the existence of a dialogue between normal fibroblasts and prostate cancer cells, which results in both a peculiar modality of growth and a regulation of proliferation, probably due to factors secreted in the culture medium. The variation in E-cadherin expression found in PC-3 cells co-cultured with FG merits further investigation.
    Anticancer research 05/2012; 32(5):1579-88. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is still the best available tumour marker in prostate cancer (PCa), but presents some limits. Therefore, there is a need for novel markers in the detection and management of PCa. The 80-kDa soluble form of E-cadherin (sE-cad) and the cytokine IL-6 are being discussed as supplemental serum markers for PCa. In this study, sE-cad and IL-6 serum levels were determined in patients with pathological localized or locally advanced PCa without any previous treatment. These patients underwent radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) in accordance with the EAU Guidelines on Prostate Cancer. The molecules were determined via immunoenzymatic assays in samples collected before and after surgery. Statistical analysis was performed by Student's t-test and Pearson's correlation test. sE-cad levels were 6.0 ± 2.7 and 4.6 ± 2.3 µg/ml, before and after RRP, respectively. A highly statistically significant decrease in sE-cad concentrations after RRP was observed (p<0.0001), in 50/61 patients (82%). sE-cad levels before and after surgery were correlated (Pearson's correlation coefficient, r=0.6993, p<0.0001). sE-cad values detected after surgery were higher in patients with PSA levels >10 ng/ml (p<0.05). sE-cad levels before RRP were significantly higher in patients with G3 tumours compared to those with G2 tumours (p<0.02). Finally, sE-cad concentrations both before and after surgery were higher in tumours with Gleason score =7 compared to those with Gleason score <7 (p<0.002 and p<0.05, respectively). Preliminary data from 20 patients indicated a statistically significant increase in IL-6 levels after RRP (11.2 vs. 7.2 pg/ml, p<0.001). This is the first study on the reduction in sE-cad levels after RRP in PCa patients. Moreover, it shows that preoperative sE-cad concentrations are higher in patients with less differentiated PCa. Promising findings of this pilot study may lead to investigation of sE-cad in a larger study with follow-up.
    Oncology Reports 04/2012; 28(1):370-4. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interactions occurring between malignant cells and the stromal microenvironment heavily influence tumor progression. We investigated whether this cross-talk affects some molecular and functional aspects specifically correlated with the invasive phenotype of breast tumor cells (i.e. adhesion molecule expression, membrane fluidity, migration) by co-culturing mammary cancer cells exhibiting different degrees of metastatic potential (MDA-MB-231>MCF-7) with fibroblasts isolated from breast healthy skin (normal fibroblasts, NFs) or from breast tumor stroma (cancer-associated fibroblasts, CAFs) in 2D or 3D (nodules) cultures. Confocal immunofluorescence analysis of the epithelial adhesion molecule E-cadherin on frozen nodule sections demonstrated that NFs and CAFs, respectively, induced or inhibited its expression in MCF-7 cells. An increase in the mesenchymal adhesion protein N-cadherin was observed in CAFs, but not in NFs, as a result of the interaction with both kinds of cancer cells. CAFs, in turn, promoted N-cadherin up-regulation in MDA-MB-231 cells and its de novo expression in MCF-7 cells. Beyond promotion of "cadherin switching", another sign of the CAF-triggered epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was the induction of vimentin expression in MCF-7 cells. Plasma membrane labeling of monolayer cultures with the fluorescent probe Laurdan showed an enhancement of the membrane fluidity in cancer cells co-cultured with NFs or CAFs. An increase in lipid packing density of fibroblast membranes was promoted by MCF-7 cells. Time-lapsed cell tracking analysis of mammary cancer cells co-cultured with NFs or CAFs revealed an enhancement of tumor cell migration velocity, even with a marked increase in the directness induced by CAFs.Our results demonstrate a reciprocal influence of mammary cancer and fibroblasts on various adhesiveness/invasiveness features. Notably, CAFs' ability to promote EMT, reduction of cell adhesion, increase in membrane fluidity, and migration velocity and directness in mammary cancer cells can be viewed as an overall progression- and invasion-promoting effect.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e50804. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reduced cell-cell adhesion allows malignant epithelial cells to invade the basal membrane and penetrate the stroma. This implies the potential of the cells to escape from the primary tumor as well as spreading ability. Herein, we investigated the effects of leuprorelin acetate (LA), a GnRH agonistic analogue, alone or in combination with dihydrotestosterone (DHT), on the expression of molecules involved in cell adhesion (E-cadherin, N-cadherin, α-, β- and γ-catenin) or in migration/invasion (c-met, CD44v6 and caveolin-1) in androgen-sensitive (LNCaP) and -insensitive (PC-3) prostate cancer (CaP) cells. We demonstrated by immunoblotting that, in LNCaP cells, molecules present in the adherens junctions (E-cadherin, α-, β- and γ-catenin) were expressed, while α-catenin was absent in PC-3 cells which expressed N-cadherin and c-met. In LNCaP cells, no changes in E-cadherin levels were produced by 10(-9) M DHT while LA (10(-11) or 10(-6) M) up-regulated the protein level (up to 26-30% after 48 h). In the same cells, β- and γ-catenin expression was enhanced either by DHT (24 and 20%, respectively) or LA (up to 18 and 40%, respectively), while α-catenin was not affected. Antagonistic effects were consistently observed between DHT and LA when the two hormones were jointly administered to the cells. Consistent results were obtained by immunocytochemistry. Co-immunoprecipitation analysis, used to verify the integrity of the LNCaP cell adhesion complex, demonstrated the association of E-cadherin with catenins. In PC-3 cells, adhesion molecule expression, analyzed by immunoblotting, was unaffected by LA, while a down-regulation of c-met (up to 28%) was observed after 24 h of treatment but which did not hold up over time (48-144 h). Our findings demonstrate the efficacy of LA in upregulating E-cadherin, β- and γ-catenin in LNCaP cells. This effect, that may be considered as another aspect of the direct antitumor activity of the GnRH analogue in hormone-dependent CaP cells, may contribute to maintenance/restoration of the normal tissue architecture counteracting the tumor cell spreading tendency.
    International Journal of Oncology 06/2011; 38(6):1501-9. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by excessive extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition in the skin and other visceral organs and it is associated with immune activation characterized by autoantibody production, release of various cytokines and T-lymphocyte activation. Several recent lines of evidence in animal models and in SSc patients indicate a potential role for B cells in the SSc. B cells have arisen as a possible player in tissue fibrosis in some experimental models and, since IL-6 produced by B cells, along with TGF-β, may induce matrix synthesis and less collagen degradation, targeting B cells could be one way to reduce ECM deposition and reduce the inflammatory background. Both SSc patients and tight-skin mice, a genetic model of SSc, have intrinsic B-cell abnormalities characterized by chronic B-cell activation. SSc patients present an increased number of naïve B cells and an activation of memory B cells, despite a reduction in their number. B cells from SSc patients exhibit increased expression of CD19. Remarkably, CD19 loss or B-cell depletion using antimouse CD20 antibody suppresses the development of skin hyperplasia and autoimmunity in tight-skin mice. Additionally, recent studies revealed a possible beneficial effect of anti-human CD20 antibody (Rituximab) therapy on skin fibrosis and lung involvement in SSc patients. These studies reported also the safety of Rituximab in SSc patients. All these findings suggest a possible role of antiCD20 treatment in SSc patients.
    Autoimmunity reviews 04/2011; 10(10):624-30. · 6.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis in the peritumor tissue of glioblastoma (GBM) is still an open field of research. This study investigates neovascularization in the tumor surrounding areas by examining CD105 and nestin expression along with microvessel density (MVD) with the aim of establishing their possible prognostic significance. Angiogenesis was also confirmed by investigating, in vessel walls, the presence of pericytes, which are multipotent stem cells, expressing α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). In our study, including 40 GBM patients, tissue samples were obtained from tumors (first area) and white matter at a distance <1 cm (second area) and between 1 and 3.5 cm (third area) from the tumor margin. CD105 and nestin were detected by immunohistochemistry in hyperplastic endothelium of GBM and peritumor tissue, and occasionally coexpressed or colocalized. Pericytes encircling hyperplastic endothelium were evident in all three areas. Univariate analysis revealed that patients with a CD105-MVD value ≥8 in the third area have a significantly shorter survival time and Cox analysis indicated an about 3.5-fold increase in death risk in the same patients. These results demonstrate that a tumor neoangiogenesis occurs in GBM peritumor tissue with intimate involvement of pericytes. CD105-MVD in the area located at a greater distance from the tumor margin carries prognostic significance.
    International Journal of Oncology 01/2011; 38(1):41-9. · 2.66 Impact Factor
  • Digestive and Liver Disease - DIG LIVER DIS. 01/2011; 43.
  • Digestive and Liver Disease - DIG LIVER DIS. 01/2011; 43.
  • Biophysical Journal - BIOPHYS J. 01/2011; 100(3).
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    ABSTRACT: An altered balance between effector and regulatory factors is supposed to sustain the tissue-damaging immune response in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We have recently shown that in IBD, there is a defective synthesis of the counter-regulatory cytokine, interleukin (IL)-25. In this study we investigated factors that control IL-25 production in the gut. IBD patients produced less IL-25 when compared with normal controls. Stimulation of normal intestinal explants with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), but not interferon-γ (IFN-γ) or IL-21, reduced IL-25 synthesis. Consistently, IL-25 production was enhanced by anti-TNF-α both in vitro and in vivo. Upregulation of IL-25 was also seen in normal colonic explants stimulated with transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). As in IBD, TGF-β1 activity is abrogated by Smad7, we next assessed whether inhibition of Smad7 with an antisense oligonucleotide enhanced IL-25 expression. Knockdown of Smad7 was accompanied by an increase in IL-25 production. Data show that IL-25 production is differently regulated by TNF-α and TGF-β1 in the human gut.
    Mucosal Immunology 10/2010; 4(2):239-244. · 7.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An over-expression of CD19 has been shown in B cells of systemic sclerosis (SSc) and B cells are thought to contribute to the induction of skin fibrosis in the tight skin mouse model. The aim was to define the outcome on safety and the change in skin score after rituximab therapy in SSc patients and to correlate the clinical characteristics with the levels of interleukin (IL)-6 and with the immune cell infiltrate detected by immunohistochemistry. Nine patients with SSc with mean age 40.9 +/- 11.1 years were treated with anti-CD20, 1 g at time 0 and after 14 days. Skin biopsy was performed at baseline and during the follow-up. B-cell activating factor (BAFF) and IL-6 levels were also determined at the follow-up times. After 6 months patients presented a median decrease of the skin score of 43.3% (range 21.1-64.0%), and a decrease in disease activity index and disease severity index. IL-6 levels decreased permanently during the follow up. After treatment, a complete depletion of peripheral blood B cells was observed in all but 2 patients. Only 3 patients presented CD20 positive cells in the biopsy of the involved skin at baseline. Anti-CD20 treatment has been well tolerated and SSc patients experienced an improvement of the skin score and of clinical symptoms. The clear fall in IL-6 levels could contribute to the skin fibrosis improvement, while the presence of B cells in the skin seems to be irrelevant with respect to the outcome after B cell depletion. ISRCTN77554566.
    Arthritis research & therapy 03/2010; 12(2):R54. · 4.27 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

734 Citations
295.90 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1978–2014
    • Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
      • • Institute of Histology and General Ebryology
      • • Institute of Neurosurgery
      • • Institute of Hematology
      • • Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
      • • Laboratory for Molecular Oncology
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2004–2012
    • University of Rome Tor Vergata
      • Dipartimento di Medicina dei Sistemi
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1989–2009
    • The Catholic University of America
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
    • Università Degli Studi Roma Tre
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1995
    • Civil Hospital, Conegliano
      Conegliano, Veneto, Italy
  • 1990
    • University of Pavia
      Ticinum, Lombardy, Italy